I began quilting rag quilts and was taught to not prewash the flannel fabric; I've made several, and they turn out wonderfully. I then "graduated" to "real" quilting, so to speak (no insult to rag quilting, I still make them and have friends who absolutely love them!). Because of the severe arthritis in my hands, I use a lot of combinations of pre-cuts: jelly rolls; jolly rolls (5"X10"), charm packs, and layer cakes. I do NOT prewash any of these.
I have just purchased fabric to make a birthday quilt for my grandson who will be 30 years old on May 12 (my other two grandchildren are ages 3 and 6!). I am making him a Star Wars quilt, queen size. Because recently had SO MUCH trouble quilting a fairly large quilt, which was donated to charity via my quilting group, because of arthritis in my hands, I started looking at quilt-as-you-go techniques as a possible solution. I came across a wonderful You Tube video by Darlene Michaud called "How to Quilt as Your Go with Sashing and Self-Binding. It is wonderful! I even made a sample of her technique, and this is the one I will be using for my grandson's Star Wars Quilt.
I think I should prewash the fabric. The backing -that also serves as the sashing and the binding- is Kona Cotton (steel gray); there are four different star war pieces of fabric to be put together as a panel of four, each separated by sashing per this technique There are some bright colors and some subdued colors in these fabrics; none of it was cheap, so I don't want to ruin it, potentially, through bleeding, or what ever. Okay, enough of this! I guess I scared to make this quilt. It would be easier to not prewash the fabric, but I just think I really should. SO, NO PROBLEM! Then I read that I should not use my regular fabric (Tide Pods). WHY NOT? I'm supposed to buy something like Orvas Quilt Soap. Huh?
So, since I really need to get started on this quilt, could anyone out there advise me about (1) prewashing/non-prewashing and (2) can I just use my average laundry detergent or do I have to buy something special like "Quilt Soap."
Thanks for helping a slowly maturing quilting novice!