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April part of the Project-a-long with Béa

banner Béa april

April part of the Project-a-long with Béa

A hand-sewn project for the French “April Fish” !

It is always such a pleasure to discover your spool projects on the Simply Vintage facebook group and with the hashtag #QUILTMANIA2021! Béa prepared for you, a lovely project to add to this make-a-long — a hand-sewn “April Fish” with the colors that inspire you. The April Fish is a French custom to draw a fish and stick in on the back of our friends on April 1st — kids love it!

Here is fourth part of our series, which includes embroideries, appliqué and laces.

Find the first three parts on our blog.

Hello everyone,

April, we are ready for you and I obviously think about the “April Fish”!

The origin of the “April Fish” dates back to the French king Charles IX. In 1564, he decided to apply a calendar reform: while the year in France was starting at Christmas, Easter or even in some regions on March 25th with festivities lasting until April 1st, the Roussillon Edict chose to start the year on January 1st. The date was spread to all Christians by the pope Grégoire XIII.
But for many people it was hard to get used to this new date and some didn’t even know about it! They continued to offer gifts on April 1st. To make fun of them, some little jokesters had the idea to offer funny or fake gifts. And from that day on, the tradition stuck, and kids and grown-ups still make funny jokes today!
My fish… it is well ribboned because it could also be made of chocolate for Easter celebrations!


Here is the example of the version I made on my sheet above the March part, with a height of approximately 10cm (4″):

ornament Béa april


  • A old sheet : oval A
  • A printed fabric: 1 rectangle of 7 x 1Ocm (2 3/4” x 4″ ) width according to your strip
  • Scraps of fabrics for the fish (here blue, orange, white)
  • A scrap of laces (width of your strip)
  • 3 small buttons
  • Cotton embroidery thread
  • 1 organza ribbon
  • Iron-on adhevise web for appliqué
  • Repositionable glue (optional)
  • Mini clothes pin (optional)


  1. On the paper of the Iron-on adheive web, copy the 4 parts of the fish (B,C,D,E) by downloading the templates (PDF) and tracing the shapes and the small square “1”. Re cut following the outline.

2. Take off the protective paper on the back of the veil. On the oval A, assemble the fish following the alphabetic order of the pieces. Iron these parts.

3. With the repositionable glue, glue the oval on the printed rectangle, ad the square “1” by helping yourself with the pitcure.

On the left side of the glued square’s inferior peak, embroider the snail with back stitches (1 or 2 threads). Make some French knots on the flowery square with an embroidery cotton thread of your choice. Appliqué the umbrella, embroider its ribs (back stitch and French knot, 1 thread) and its stick (satin stitch, 3 threads). Embroider the swallows with black satin stitches (1 thread).

4. Sew the rims of the oval and the little square permanently with long random stitches.

5. On the fish body, embroider a few white long stitches. On the square, embroider the “1” for the first day of the month.

6. Make a big black French knot on the center of the fish’s eye.

7. Glue the ensemble on the old sheet strip above the March part.

8. Make some broken ribs stitches a bit everywhere.

9. Let your inspiration guide you and continue the March branches (French knots, featherstitches).

10. Sew the laces above the ensemble with the 3 buttons simulating the bubbles and the knot on the fish.

11. My Chloé is an “April girl” so the butterfly is for her!

details ornament Béa april 2
details ornament Béa april 1

Your version is up to you. Bring your personal touch. Nothing will make me happier than discovering your creations #quiltmania2021 !

May will arrive very soon !

About Béa

portrait béatrice airaud

Béatrice Airaud is a decorative and textile art designer with many talents. Discover her poetic universe as well as her kits and adorable ornaments on her website. Don’t hesitate to follow her facebook and instagram pages.

Find all the chapters of the “Xmas by Quiltmania avec Béa” on our blog, some lovely handmade decorations are waiting for you.

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