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May 11, 2010 > Niles hosts art and garden delights

Niles hosts art and garden delights

By Julie Grabowski

The 17th Annual Niles Wildflower, Art, Garden, and Quilt Show takes over the town Sunday, May 16 in an explosion of visual treats. Put on by the Niles Main Street Association, activities are numerous and diverse, sure to provide a full day for visitors.

The newly opened Town Square will host demonstrations and information on mulching, worm composting, recycling, energy conservation, and disaster preparedness, as well as free garden talks and several displayed quilts.

This year's event welcomes the first annual Quilt Show into the mix, with 100 quilts hanging throughout Town Square and along the boulevard. Quilting guilds such as Gold Bug Quilters, Diablo Valley Quilt Guild, Amador Valley Quilters, and Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Southern Alameda County will be raffling off seven opportunity quilts to benefit their non-profit organizations. Vintage quilts dating back to the mid 1800s will be displayed at the Essanay Silent Film Museum, including a special family heirloom quilt made of silk swatches and ribbons by Anna Maria Stivers.

Over 20 vendors will line the sidewalks of Niles Boulevard offering plants, garden supplies, vintage quilt squares, lace, buttons, jewelry, monotype prints, art boxes, handmade bags and much more. Check out the potted plants and wildflower seeds from Blue Star Moms; pick up a pot, perennials, succulents, herbs, or garden art from Friends of Heirloom Flowers; or go patriotic with items from Quilts of Valor.

Garden tours will be running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. showcasing nine wonderful neighborhood gardens. Most of the properties are new to the tour and have unique attributes, such as a three-story tree house with zip line, a pirate ship tree house and lagoon, a garden with over 100 rose bushes, and a black-bottom swimming pool with waterfall. Tickets may be purchased in advance at select Niles stores or online at for $12; tickets bought the day of the event are $15 and will be available at the Main Street booth by Tyme for Tea.

Two local authors will be in residence; Carole Terwilliger Meyers will be giving a presentation on wildflower gardens in the Bay Area and local garden trips, as well as signing the most recent edition of her book, "Weekend Adventures in San Francisco and Northern California." Presentations will take place at the Essanay Silent Film Museum at 37417 Niles Boulevard at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Terri Thayer, long time quilter and author of a quilting mystery series, will be at Color Me Quilts and More all day, signing copies of "Wild Goose Chase," "Old Maid's Puzzle," and "Ocean Waves." The store is located at 37485 Niles Boulevard and will have books available for purchase.

A fun addition to the event is The Charm of Niles, for which 13 stores will be offering antique pewter charms representing the unique shops of Niles. Participating merchants include Essanay Film Museum, Color Me Quilts and More, Tyme for Tea, Main Street Show Booth, My Friends and I, Antique Treasures, Keith's Collectables, KiKi's Confections, Not Just Quiltz, S&H Antiques, Balloons to Go, Envy Me Boutique, and Niles Gallery. Charms cost $2 and quantities are limited.

"Niles is becoming quite a quaint place to visit," says show coordinator and Color Me Quilts and More shop owner Diana Liles. She gets a lot of visitors from out of state as well as out of the country, but says there are many locals unaware of their backyard treasure. The Wildflower, Art, Garden, and Quilt Show is the perfect time to get acquainted with the charming, historic town of Niles and all it has to offer.

For more information contact the Niles Main Street Association at (510) 742-9868, Diana Liles at (510) 792-6568, or visit online at

Wildflower, Art, Garden, and Quilt Show
Sunday, May 16
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Niles District
Niles Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 742-9868

Garden tours
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets available at:
Main Street booth by Tyme for Tea
$12 advance, $15 day of event

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