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May 10, 2011 > One blooming Sunday

One blooming Sunday

By Julie Grabowski

Flowers and art and quilts -- oh my! The Niles District of Fremont floods the senses with treats galore at their 18th annual Wildflower, Art, Garden and Quilt Show. Approximately 30 vendors will line the sidewalks of Niles Boulevard offering plants, paintings, jewelry, quilted works, note cards, photographs, sewing machines and more, while up to 100 unique and stunning quilts will be on display in the Town Plaza.

See demonstrations of quilt tying throughout the day courtesy of The Piecemakers Quilt Guild, and watch an old-fashioned spinning wheel at work as Sheila Cahak spins yarn. An heirloom quilt made from pieces of silk and ribbons in the mid-1800s by Anna Maria Stivers, wife of a Centerville pioneer, will be hanging in the Essanay Silent Film Museum along with other vintage quilts.

The Open Gardens Tour will include six local heavenly havens abloom with roses, annuals and perennials and "a bit of whimsy thrown in" according to event coordinator Diana Liles. Guests will also enjoy fish ponds, a Koi pond, and a small fairy garden. One garden will also serve as a Children's Art Studio, featuring artwork of local talent. Tours hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 either online at or from stores in Niles including Antique Treasures, Keith's Collectables, My Friends and I, and Color Me Quilts and others. On the day of the event tickets will be $15 at the Main Street Information Booth in the Plaza.

After a tremendously successful launch last year, Charms of Niles is back with all new charms representing the unique stores of Niles. For its debut a limited number of 50 charms were ordered for each participating store and they sold out before noon, so this year's amount has been increased to 100. Charms are $2 each and will be available at Essanay Silent Film Museum, Color Me Quilts and More, Tyme for Tea, My Friends and I, Antique Treasures, Cottage Charm, Bite and Browse, Keith's Collectables, Kiki's Konfections, Corrie's Glass, Balloons to Go, and Not Just Quiltz. Charm gatherers can purchase bracelets and necklaces at Kiowa Rose to create a special finished product to take home as a reminder of the day. Make sure to collect your favorites before they're gone!

Nonprofit organization Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont (LEAF) joins the festivities by offering demonstrations of worm composting and an ancient irrigation technique called Olla watering at their Niles Center Garden location. Guided tours of the nursery and vegetable gardens begin at noon and heirloom vegetable starts will be available for purchase from their greenhouse.

For the literary minded, two authors will be on hand signing their books; Jill Singleton, co-author of "Centerville, Fremont" will be at the Essanay Silent Film Museum from noon to 2 p.m., while Maya Torngren, author of "Maya, The Story of a German War Bride," will be at Color Me Quilts and More throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. Torngren will also be sharing her beautiful quilts depicting her travels and homes.

For additional treats be sure to stop by Corrie's Glass where Wayne Corrie will be demonstrating creative glass work all day and at 1 p.m., The Newark Wind Quintet, an ensemble from the Newark Wind Symphony will entertain at the Plaza. Don't forget to purchase a raffle ticket in front of My Friends and I for a chance to win great prizes in support of the event sponsor, Niles Main Street Association.

"This is my second year as coordinator of this event, and I love doing it," says Diana Liles. "I hope that those who come out to Niles will enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of this historical district. The flowers are in bloom, the Niles Canyon Railroad will be operational and the quilts are filled with color; it should be a perfect day."

Thanks go to supportive local sponsors with a special thank you to Fremont Bank for their participation in this event.

Wildflower, Art, Garden and Quilt Show
Sunday, May 15
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Niles District
Niles Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 792-6567

Garden tours:
$12 in advance; $15 event day

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