Every time I share a bit of progress on my Sunflower Patch baby quilt, I get a lot of questions about the neon pink fabric that I used for the blocks. Neon is so fun to use in quilts, and while it’s having bit of a moment right now, it seems to go in an out of fashion and can be tricky to find at times. (Case in point, the Michael Miller neon pink I used is discontinued as far as anyone can tell.)
With that in mind, I’ve put together this source guide to help you on your neon fabric quest! I’m limiting this list to true neons … fabrics that are simply bright generally did not make the cut (with the exception of some of the solids I mention in the “alternatives” section).
We all know that fabric collections are continually arriving in shops, only to be replaced with new ones a few months later. I’ve learned the hard way that when you see new neons come out, if they strike your fancy you should grab them while you can, because they may not be available again! (Unless they are so popular they get reprinted.)
So which designers and manufacturers tend to release neon fabrics on a regular basis? Here are the ones to keep an eye on.
Ruby Star Society
Some of my most prized neons are from Ruby Star Society, and I feel confident in saying there tends to be a neon or two mixed in with their collections every year. Add It Up is a staple which has previously been released in an acid lime, as well as an oatmeal colour with tiny neon orange plus signs (called “Party Hat,” maybe the best fabric name ever). Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Adorn included a neon yellow-green with a neat bow and grid pattern, and this past Halloween’s Tiny Frights collection included a lightning bolt blender in both pink and yellow.
Even better news: Kimberly Kight’s Sugar Cone is about to hit the shops and features a really sweet low volume print in both neon pink and neon yellow, that is going to make an absolutely perfect background fabric.
With an entire recent collection called “Neon True Colors”, no surprise that Tula Pink made the list. The line includes dots, stripes, and a print called Fairy Flakes in a really interesting pairing with some unusual neutrals. (There’s a video post in her Tula Tuesday series on Instagram that talks through the design and color selection process.)
Glitter Litter (from Zuma – you can see some in the photo above in blue and white backgrounds) and Fairy Dust are two past prints that include neon, and Fairy Dust seems to have become a staple that they print year after year with variations.
If you want colours with real saturated intensity, keep your eyes pealed for Libs Elliott’s phosphor collection. I used this for my Uppercase Blackletter sample quilt and it honestly came out looking exactly like Lite Brite. As true neons go, the lightest green and lightest yellow in the original line were perfect, so the newer versions (the latest is “Electric” are definitely worth a look.
Liberty of London
Splashing bits of neon into some of their classic floral prints is something Liberty of London does so well. Pictured below are three prints I ordered from Duckadilly, from top to bottom:
- Olivia Neon Water Balloon
- Betsy Berry Sour Apple
- Betsy Berry Splash
I’m a big fan of dot prints from the Japanese manufacturer Lecien (Superbuzzy is a great source for these) and they sometimes come in neon (orange ones pictured below).
Past collections and long shots
There’s are a couple more classics I can’t not mention – you may still be able to find them:
- neon pink raindrops, an out-of-print treasure from the original Cotton and Steel
- the floral low volume print “Moxie” from Rifle Paper Co.’s Primavera collection (pictured below)
Next best thing
So if neon prints are a little unpredictable and hard to come by, and Michael Miller’s neon solids just plain aren’t around any more, what’s a neon fan to do? There are some good alternatives that are perennially available. They’re not precisely neon by the standards of any 80s kid, but they’re pretty close:
- In Kona cottons: Orangeade and Acid Lime.
- In Tula Pink Designer Solids: Mojito and Limeade
Do you have any favourite neon fabrics that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!