Quilting tips?

I’ve been wanting to start quilting for a while, and today I started putting together blocks for a quilt for my dad, because he’s always wanted a quilt and most of my other sewing projects go to my mom and siblings. I only got the pieces for about three blocks before my old sewing machine decided to rebel. It was old when my grandmother gave it to me roughly five years ago, and it’s always fixed itself after a day or two (thank you, brother machines!), but I got so frustrated and stressed out I got a fever and had to stop. Do any of you more experienced sewists have any tips to make this a little easier?