Batting - I prefer cotton batting because among other things: Cotton tends to stick to the quilt top and the backing, allowing for easier machine stitching. Thin cotton batting rolls up compactly (a nice quality for machine quilting).
Safety pins – The 1” size work the best. And if you have bent quilter’s pins work even better. Use lots, I place the pins about 4” apart. I remove them as needed.
NOTE: Take the time to make sure all the straight lines that should be straight are straight.
A walking foot - It has built-in feed dogs that help move the top layers of fabric through your machine,
while your machine's own feed dogs move the bottom layers through. This helps ensure the layers don't shift while you are quilting. (FYI: If your walking foot doesn't seem quilt right, it might need servicing!!)
On a sample, test the tension and stitch length.
If I can hide the starts and stops in under the binding, I backstitch at the beginning and end of each line of quilting to lock the stitches.
When I start quilting, I use the edge of the fabric as a guide, keeping my walking foot placed along it as I stitch.
Use the needle down, if possible, so the fabric doesn't shift.
I use the previous line of quilting as my guide for the next line, keeping the edge of my walking foot against it while I work on the next line of quilting.
Before you know it, your beautiful quilt will be beautifully quilted!