If you quilt in the plain squares, there are quilting stencils available in many designs and sizes. When drawing the design onto the fabric always use a wash out or special quilting pencil. Never use a regular pencil - the marks will stay forever! May be someone in a quilt group or shop can steer you in the right direction.
It would be a good idea to have someone show you or look on line. There are lots of tutorials. I use a small plastic frame. I would choose a size nine quilting needle and get quilting thread. It may seem hard at first but with practice it gets easier. Work from the middle out to the edges to help keep those dreadful little tucks from happening. There are several different ways to hold the needle and all that but for now just start sewing and definitely go thru all layers. Sometimes the back turns out prettier than the front.
Hi djg, I recommend that you try to find a quilting guild in your area. There would most certainly be a seasoned quilter that would be glad to point you in the right direction. Guilds aren't expensive to join and some quilting/fabric stores give you discounts for being a guild member (Joann's being one of them).
hand quilting means all the stitches always go through all layers. That is the point of quilting.