Glad to hear of your interest. There are all sorts of quilting sites on the net, one is "quiltingtoday.com" try it out. A good one for you with no machine and to see how you might like it is Georgia Bonesteel, she does a method where you do a block at a time, you build it slowly, not too scarey that way. You could do a square and applique whatever you like onto it, sandwich it with any old thing if you don't have batting, put a back on it and just go for it. This is your creation, do whatever interest you and you will be more likely to finish it.
Tigger: it does take alot of time and if your not interested in hand work or sewing, maybe it's not for you. Go to the sight I posted above and get some ideas, go to the library and check out some books, there are lots of them out there. It's like any hobby, if you enjoy doing it, it's not "hard" and well worth the effort. Go for it!
Anne, you might take an old shirt,skirt etc and get your piece of fabric, draw a tree, bird, balloon, flower (whatever) onto a piece of paper to get an idea of what you like and then applique it on and you have a good start. Let me know if the quilting bug bites you.