I LOVE to hand quilt...but I'd work up to a larger project by starting with a small one to practice getting my stitches even and small and toughening up your grip etc....seriously...your fingers and hands can get quite sore if you do too much all at once.
I agree! Small!!! And Relax! Don't try for perfection on your first try. It takes practice, practice, practice. For your first project I would recommend just quilting "in the ditch" or a straight line design if possible. that way you can concentrate on the stitches rather than turning the project to follow the design. Have fun!
Good Idea to start small. Find a thimble that you like - that may include lots of auditioning, but once you find the one that you like, you'll be glad that you tried out a number of options. I use a metal thimble on my middle finger. I also use a rubber "secretarys' finger" on my index finger - try an office supply store for those
My very first quilt was a nine patch lap quilt...I learned as I quilted, It was easy quilting individual blocks and watching your stitches improve with each block. I did it with 1/4" outline stitching. Will take a picture and post later. Happy quilting whatever pattern you choose!
My first hand quilting was a baby quilt, irish chain pattern...also hand pieced it. And here's a tip that I haven't seen anyone else add yet--I use a finger cott on my index finger--it really helps pull that needle thru. You can get a whole bag of them at a pharmacy (their real use is for suppository reasons), but my quilt instructor used them and I find I can't hand quilt without one.