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free fish quilt block pattern

Tropical Fish Wall hanging

Skill Level: ADVANCED

Four fish blocks, 10 water blocks, 1 plant block

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approx. 24.5" x 52.5"

This fish wall hanging is absolutely gorgeous with fish made from shimmering prints and bright colors. Batik print works out well as water. The many reeds add to the depth of the water.

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Sewing Precise Points

We list this pattern as ADVANCED because of the numerous points. Where possible, we have provided photographs to show you how to line up the pieces. I recommend that you look through our pages of blocks and study the photographs. Make some practice blocks to be sure you are happy with your skill level before you begin. I made one wall hanging with no problem. On my second one, the large center fish block came out a bit too large. I improvised by slightly reducing the width of water block 6. It worked out fine. If you want to make this wall hanging, but don't want it to be as complicated, leave out the reeds. Use solid blocks as your water (and solid triangles in place of the pieced ones where the reeds pass behind a fish). This will make the project much easier.

TIP ON SEWING POINTS: Each time I am about to sew points, I line up my pieces and then finger press the seam open - just to be sure that the pieces will end up where I want them after the seam has been sewn. Points require patience and LOTS of practice. Once you understand how they work, it is not all that difficult. Refer to our free quilt lessons for more help with points.

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The fish blocks are made first, followed by the background blocks that go with each fish. The fish blocks are then sewn to the background blocks to make 6 rows. The rows are then sewn together. Nothing is appliqued - fish, reeds, plants etc. are made as part of blocks.

This photo was taken before the piece was quilted. I used decorative stitches and thread to add texture to the fish, reeds, plant etc.

Use your creative side when choosing colors and textures of fabrics.

Copyright © 2004-2012 by Christina Sherrod for


Use your own choice of fabrics.
We used the following for our wall hanging:
2 yards water fabric
1 fat quarter of four different fish print fabrics
1/4 yard light green (45" width), for light reeds and border pieces
1 fat quarter dark reed fabric
Scraps for plant block

1/3 yard of each of the two colors for the border triangles (this allows for some shrinkage): you will need to cut 30 3" squares from each color.
Your choice of fabric for outer binding (1.5" strip x long enough to go around the wall hanging). The perimeter is 152 inches, so you'll need binding this long plus some extra.
Batting: A piece to fit a 24.5" x 52.5" wall hanging.

There are 4 fish blocks, one plant block and 10 background blocks, for a total of 15 blocks. These are pieced into 6 rows. Complete all blocks. NOTE: Precision cutting and sewing is a must. Seams must be 1/4" exactly. Be sure to press well after each seam is sewn. Use a quilter's square to square up each block.

Our patterns download as pdf files. For instructions on downloading pdf files,
go to: pdf instructions.

Refer to the layout page, for location of blocks.

NOTE ABOUT PRINTING: Be sure your printer is set to print at 100%. If "Shrink to fit" or "Fit to page" etc. is selected, YOUR PATTERN PIECES WILL NOT PRINT TO THE CORRECT SIZE. Every pattern page lists one or more dimensions. CHECK YOUR PRINTED PATTERN FOR ACCURACY OF SIZE.

Fish Blocks: Patterns and Instructions
There are four fish. Each fish block is created separately.

Fish Block 1

Fish Block 2

Fish Block 3

Fish Block 4

Plant Block: Pattern and Instructions
The plant rests on the ocean floor, in the lower right corner of the wallhanging.

Plant Block  Instructions & pattern for plant block.

Background Water Blocks: Patterns and Instructions
There are 10 background blocks. They make up the water and reeds floating in the water.

Water Block 1  This makes up the first row and is just above fish #1

Water Block 2  This block is just to the left of fish #1 and is the first block of row 2.

Water Block 3  This block is just to the right of fish #1
Water block 2, fish #1 and water block 3 complete row 2 of the wallhanging.

Water Block 4  This block is just to the left of fish #2 and is the first block of row 3.

Water Block 5  This block is just to the right of fish #2
Water block 4, fish #2 and water block 5 complete row 3 of the wallhanging.

Water Block 6  This block is just to the left of fish #3

Water Block 7  This block is just to the right of fish #3
Water block 6, fish #3 and water block 7 complete row 4 of the wallhanging.

Water Block 8  This block is just to the left of fish #4

Water Block 9  This block is just to the right of fish #4
Water block 8, fish #4 and water block 9 complete row 5 of the wallhanging.

Water Block 10  This block is the left side of the ocean floor, just left of the plant block.
Block 10 and the plant block complete row 6 of the wallhanging.

Assemble Blocks

Go to Assemble Wall Hanging

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