Though I loved it as it was, I had to wash and dry it if only to see for myself how it would behave should it find a new home. A couple of colour catchers in the machine (half hour 30 degree cycle with a low spin) picked up quite a bit of dark blue and there was quite a bit of shrinkage.
Though I really, really like it there is still room for improvement. Quilting "in the ditch" with one of the general feet I have was not as easy as I thought. Some of the stitching isn't quite in the ditch and it shows more than I would like - particularly in the darker areas. Maybe I should have used a different stitch length and/or perhaps tightened the tension a little more? It's been a great learning curve and I still have much to learn. Having chosen a beige thread, I feel I could have gone darker too. Still, it's not exactly a showpiece so probably not that bad for a first effort!
I'll have to look out for a good patchwork/quilting book - one that explains/advises on the tensions/threads/stitching/feet etc..