Modern Yardage Fat Quarter Fish Softie

fast floppy finned fat quarter fish

I met up with Modern Yardage when I went to SNAP in April, and fell in love! They have designers create awesome fabric designs, and then they custom print them for customers. If you want yardage, half-yards, fat quarters… they print out what you need, and mail it off to you (super quick)! I was looking through their panel options and fell in love with this scallop panel and coordinating fabrics!


I just knew they were destined to become a fish. A fast, floppy-finned, fat quarter fish. If you want to make your own fish, you can… and it is so simple to make, it requires no pattern at all! Yup, you’re free to add your own style to this little fish as you stitch him up! And the more wonky you cut the pieces as you make him… the more modern he is going to look!

Along with the panel, you need:
3 coordinating fat quarters
scraps of batting
2 coordinating buttons

Note: all seam allowances should be about 1/4″, but this tutorial is very forgiving – making it a great project for a novice stitcher!

Start by folding your panel in half, matching up the scallops, pinning, and then stitching just inside the printed circle.

stitch fish head

Cut the semi-circle out, about 1/4″ away from your stitched line. Fold in half. Grab the fat quarter you are using for the body, and fold into quarters. Line up the head and body as shown in the picture.

prepare body fabric

Cut your body from this fabric. You should be cutting through 4 layers.

cut body

When unfolded, the fish head and body should look something like this:

head and body

Make your fins. Fold your fin fabric into quarters, and cut a large oval-ish shape for the side fins. Fold your tail fin fabric and cut a half-crecent-ish shape for the tail fins. You should be cutting through 4 layers, making 4 of each.

Place two fin pieces, right sides together, on the batting. Repeat for both side fins and both tail fins. Pin in place.  Stitch all the way around each, leaving a hole for turning.

stitched fins

Trim each fin, about 1/4″ from your stitching line, and turn right side out. Press flat.

finished fins

Pin your tail fins to the back of your body piece. Play with the placement until you are satisfied.

pin back fins

Put the other body piece on top, right sides together, and stitch around the entire curve, leaving the flat side open.

Leave the body piece right sides together, turn the head right side out, and tuck the head into the body so that all the flat sides line up. Pin at the top and bottom seams. tuck the two oval fins on each side, trying to match up the placement, with the opening sticking out from the flat side.

pin on head

Home stretch! Stitch all the way around the flat edge, leaving about a 2″ hole between one of the fin edges and the top or bottom seam.

stitch on head

Turn the fish right side out through the hole.

stuff in hole

Stuff Polyfil into the hole, and stitch closed.

stitch hole closed

Add buttons for eyes, if you like.

add button

That’s it! Your fun, modern fish softie is all done! Go back and make more… you should be able to make 3 fish from the 4 fat quarters!

floppy finned fish tutorial

And now for a giveaway! Modern Yardage is giving away 1 yard of fabric to a lucky winner! You can pick one yard, 2 half yards, 4 fat quarters, a half yard and 2 fat quarters… such fun options!  Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love the My Kind of Chicago fabric!

  2. I can’t wait to make this fish, love the color combos.Thank you for the chance to win this fantastic fabric.

  3. I would get something from Mary Jencks By Emilie Daly.

  4. pam irish says

    so adorable!

    • pam irish says

      oh…forgot to say what kind of fabric i would get…wow…ummmmmmm…i don’t know…not sure what my next project is going to be. need to finish my wedding stuff (wedding this saturday) before i can even think about anything else.

  5. Fun giveaway! I love the Peach Funfetti and the La Maison des Papillons in Noir!

  6. Vanessa B says

    Lovin’ Ziggurat in Multi by Karen Harris 🙂 Thanks!!!

  7. I love the Genie in Cream Multi, Large
    Revelation in Succulent Garden Collection
    by Karen Harris

  8. I love the Sunshine Geometrics By Katie Schrader – especially the Bog Stars in Teal & Late Afternoon Hexagons in Teal. 🙂 And your fish is soooo cute!! 🙂

  9. Cute fish! I love the lattice patterned fabric by Dana Morgan.

  10. Kathy Bumb says

    Love that cute and easy fish tutorial. Could be made with so many different types of fabric!!

  11. Loving the Link In Mint, Large and the J’Adore Paris!!!

  12. I think I’d get 4 quarters of chevron print

  13. Love the cities patterns! Very fun and unique.

  14. Uh…any!! I have a fabric addiction… 😉

  15. I’d get some Festibloom!

  16. So adorable! I love this idea. I was going to make all my graduands a little fish for when they com visit us at our cabin and now I know what pattern to use. Thanks for this idea.

  17. My new great grandson should like this.

  18. Flower Palooza is so cute. It would help make some great fish stuffies!

  19. You have a great site; new at sewing but I will learn; thanks


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