Once your quilt has been sewn and clipped, you will need to wash it.
A LOT of little threads will fall off your quilt at this point. Those threads can wreak havoc on your washing machine, especially newer machines. To avoid this problem, run the blade of a butter knife across the seams to help start the fraying process before you put the quilt in the machine. Take the quilt outside and shake it vigorously. This will remove many of those loose threads.
If you plan on quilting and binding the quilt, you will need to clip and wash the quilt. Then you will quilt and bind the quilt to finish it off.
I have a basic washing machine that doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, and it has held up well and I wash several rag quilts every week for the last three years.
Another option is to wash the quilt at a laundromat. But make sure that you butter knife your quilt first and shake it off before washing the quilt there.
When you dry your quilt, many more little threads will come off. The lint filter will catch a lot of them, and you will need to clean it several times during the drying process. I also like to throw an old towel in with the quilt. The towel helps catch those loose threads, and it helps dry the quilt more quickly.
We created a quick little video that shows our process of washing quilts. It is simple and quick. No bells or whistles