With your design and fabric chosen, prewashing fabric is going to be the next decision you need to make.
To prewash or not to prewash? This question has been much debated over the years. There are many people who never prewash fabric, and there are just as many people that always prewash fabric.
I personally don't prewash my fabrics. Instead I only buy quality fabrics from reputable suppliers. Most high quality fabrics are also less likely to have color bleeding because of manufacturing advances.
My advice is to do whatever you are most comfortable doing. You'll develop your own preferences for prewashing as you work with fabrics and construct your quilts. Ask other quilters for their opinions on fabric care, listen to what they say, then experiment to determine which techniques work best for you. I hope the following information helps you to make an educated decision.
Photo courtesy of Tony Hisgett
Reasons to Prewash
Reasons Not to Prewash
The Golden Rule
Whether you decide to prewash or not prewash the most important rule
is to be consistent. Either prewash all your fabrics, or don't prewash
Great! With that decision made you are now ready to stabilize backing fabric for your applique project.