Tim's F4U Corsair

Date made: January 2002

Tim's F4U Corsair

Tim is one of my online friends; he became ex-Navy in late 2001. All of his life, he has had this love affair with F4U Corsairs (they were fighter planes flown by Navy and Marines in the South Pacific during WWII). He had wanted to be a Naval aviator but was unable to make it through the training program. This has not diminished his love of Corsairs. Not surprisingly, his online nick is "Corsair". (An aside: I was vastly amused when I discovered that not only is 'corsair' the name of this particular WWII fighter plane, but it is also a term for a pirate, as well as a vessel that a pirate sails on.)

While at a quilt show in 1998, I saw a pre-printed panel of a Corsair and I nearly caused mass pandemonium as I made a torpedo line for it. There was also a companion "all-over" print to go along with it.

Although I didn't have any sewing space in my house at the time, I bought the panel (it also came with another plane that Mr. Pirate thinks is a P47 Mustang) and the companion print with a vague idea of doing "something" for Tim. I'm not a terribly big fan of pre-printed panels, as I think they are kinda/sorta cheating, ya know? However, this was *made* for him. :-) Once the remodeling project of our house was completed (I got a new sewing room in the process!), I began to work on the quilted item for Tim.

The pre-printed panel came with 2 pre-printed borders on each selvedge. One border was the rondels that are painted on the planes and outside of that was a plain blue border. Because I only wanted to use the corsair panel, I cut off the pre-printed border (rondel + plain blue) from the Mustang side and resewed it onto the corsair panel. Unfortunately, this resulted in two vertical side borders but no corresponding horizontal borders. There wasn't anything I could do about that however, even if it did look somewhat unbalanced to me. Fortunately, I was able to find a solid in ::ahem:: navy blue that darn near exactly matched the blue in the panel, so I put horizontal strips of the navy blue to create my own outer border, which resulted in an outer blue border all the way around the panel.

In another, completely separate shopping expedition, I had found Navy insignia motif yardage and had bought a bunch of that. I cut the insignia fabric so that they became another all-round border.

Then I outline quilted the Corsair in the panel and the pre-printed border lines. I also free-motioned quilted in a lazy figure 8 pattern around each of the Navy insignias (I'm just learning this free-motion stuff and I'm afraid this part of the wall hanging didn't turn out wonderfully perfect, but ... at this point in the game, it's as good as I can do.) I bound the entire thing in a black double-fold binding, mitering the corners and put a hanging sleeve on the back.

I must admit that this wallhanging took very little time to complete and I honestly feel as though I am cheating. The only thing I did was to put on some borders. I know that Tim will like it, but it was somewhat personally unsatifactory.

Then, just cuz I love to go for the "WOW!" effect, I made Tim a Christmas stocking in the same stained glass design that I used for Mr. Pirate's camo stocking.

It was kinda funny, as I was talking with Tim online one night, I mentioned the camo stocking. He laughed and "rolled his eyes". I teased him by saying that if there was such a thing as corsair fabric, he'd want a stocking made from that, so he shouldn't be snickering at a camo stocking. He immediately asked if such fabric was available and I played ignorant. [Grin]

Little did he know that such an item was already in the works. [grin] I love planning surprises. :-)