DANVILLE -- Whether stitched by hand or machine, some quilts tell stories while others concentrate on aesthetics.

The Museum of the San Ramon Valley's new exhibit, "Quintessential Quilts: A Floral Fantasy" will focus on the latter by exploring the use of flowers in decorative and wearable quilts and wall hangings in past and modern times.

"So many women do these beautiful floral quilts, so we wanted to focus on florals," said Donna Hardman, one of the committee members curating the exhibit, calling them "works of art."

The exhibit, which will run from Tuesday through Sept. 29, will feature more than 30 quilts from the museum's collection, historic ones borrowed from local residents and contemporary pieces brought in especially for the occasion. Each Saturday at 11 a.m. during the exhibit, local quilters will discuss the art of quilting and demonstrate different techniques.

"We're trying to be interactive and informative," Hardman said.

Another featured element of the exhibit, which is sponsored by Chevron, will be a section dedicated to quilts made by men and displays of tools used to create handcrafted objects, vintage fabrics and sewing machines and accessories. In addition, a hand-painted quilted wall hanging of a vase of tulips that Mahan crafted will be raffled off to support future exhibits at the museum.

The Saturday speakers lineup will include:

  • Aug. 31 -- Kathy Higgins, discussion entitled "History of Quilting: Pyramids to Present," replete with a trunk show

  • Sept. 7 -- Barb Mahan, make it and take it: a ruffle button pin. A $5 materials fee includes show entry to make the accessory that can be worn as a brooch or pinned onto fabric as an accent.


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  • Sept. 14 -- Denise Sheehan, quilt artist and author of "The Graceful Garden," hand-applique demonstration.

  • Sept. 21 -- Sandra Newman, demonstration of technique to create hexagons. Participants will have the opportunity to sew their own.

  • Sept. 28 -- Margaret Linderman and Alethea Ballard, raw-edge and quilted appliqués of flowers demonstration. Both quilters were highlighted in the museum's 2011 exhibit "Quirkology of Quilts: Warmth to Whimsy."

    IF YOU GO:
    What: Museum of the San Ramon Valley exhibit "Quintessential Quilts: A Floral Fantasy"
    When: Tuesday to Sunday, Sept. 29; Tuesdays through Fridays 1 to 3 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sundays noon to 3 p.m.
    Where: Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Ave., Danville
    Cost: $3 adults, $5 for families. Free for members.
    Details: Visit www.museumsrv.org or call 925-837-3750.