Before "your" quilting expert Kriswrite-ga answers, I will risk a
male's sewing (hand and) machine user's comment.
Sewing machines are pretty indestructable. A reconditioned one should
be good. I bet there are quilters who like the control of an old
foot-powered one (but that is begging for a refutation).
For sewing quilt pieces together and then bigger pieces of those, I
would want a machine with a table, not a "free-arm" portable. With
some of those, the cover can be slid around the free-arm to give a
larger flat surface, but I would choose a machine that is set in a
table (like the old White machine I learned on as a kid).*
Again, expect counter opinions.
If Kriswrite is a purist who sews everything by hand, she may sneer
at this comment.
But that raises the point, that at some time you will have to do hand
stitching. It is not difficult, but does require a little practice to
make a straight seam with even tension on both pieces of cloth,
especially if they are of different texture.
But now I had better sign off.
Good luck with your new hobby,
*Nice story from a friend who also learned as a boy: His mother told
him if he could use a sewing machine (hands, foot coordination) he
could drive a car.