This is what I use: a Singer Stylist. It is not as strong as my old Singer and it makes a cute little beep beep noise when it hits something too hard. I'd buy something a bit tougher next time or an old machine again but it works for most everything I do. One of the things I particularly like is the clear bobbin window. This helps with really long runs as you can peek under your cloth and plan when you will need to reload. It also has a ton of cool stitch patterns.
For my set up I have this old thread reel I use as a spacer.
From here on out I thread the machine as normal.
Laying out the material for measuring uses most of the house. Yeah to open floor plans.
I did my cutting with a hot knife after marking it out with chalk. The dimmond pattern in this fabric really helps you make straight cuts.
Basting tape! This is the greatest stuff. I use this in the place of a hundred little pins. It is a two sided tape for fabric.
I am also using Colman seam sealer to maintain the water proofing.
Once the prep is done it is time to line things up. Oh yeah this is going to be fun. Remember go slow. Also get cute blond wife to help reel feed the fabric through bit by bit. This fabric is quite different from Dacron or sunbrella. You have to work slower and be a bit more gentle so not to stretch the fabric unevenly.