Update: The Applique Project of the Decade
First border done! This project is taking me so long it feels like a big banner headline and shouts of "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" are appropriate to announce progress - haha!
I'm actually a bit ahead of schedule here since this border has taken me less than a year to finish ;-) I posted about finishing the center panel here on May 29, 2012. So if I keep up this pace I could be finished in 2017 - allowing one year for each of the three remaining borders, and one year to piece it together and send it out for quilting. (You can hear my sarcasm, can't you?) The great news is that I still love it and plan to keep going...
Obviously I'm not working on this project daily - I am a slow hand-sewer, but not that slow. I pick it up every now and then when the mood strikes and there is no other hand-sewing needing to be done. Sometimes I take it to group sewing get-togethers so I don't have to haul a machine around.
This bottom border is all Kaffe fabrics. To make the center wavy line easier to applique, I made bias-cut tubes of fabric that finished at 3/8" wide. A little washable tacky glue held them in place while I sewed to prevent stretching.
The two side borders will consist of lots of swirly branches much like those found in the center panel, with a few leaves and flowers tossed in. The top border is supposed to say "Live well and be happy", and while I completely agree with that philosophy I don't want it appliqued on my quilt. I'm considering some other phrases, but I've got a couple of years left before I need to commit!
You can find the pattern in this book from Piece O'Cake Designs if you find yourself in need of a long-term hand-sewing project commitment.