At a very early age, Carla Eakins-Khouri, was encouraged by family members including her maternal grandmother who lived next door to explore and pursue many creative outlets. Some being more successful than others, led to an prolific outpouring of talent including mudpies, crayola drawings and others. Her grandmother, being a resourceful woman, decided to teach Carla the fine art of handsewing, embroidery and quilting. It was at this time, that a love for all art, including textiles began to grow. Schools attended and years later, Carla worked in the field of fine art and interior design, teaching and also being a lifelong student of the arts. Upon moving to Tennessee in 2005, Carla and her husband, Howard opened a studio/retreat in the surrounding countryside of Jackson County that has offered classes and retreat opportunities from world wide teachers to students from many countries. They have committed to a dream to bring art to people whether thru classes or a retreat setting in an environment that is respectful of the culture and tastes of the region while remaining true to the art form featured. Classes are taught on textile arts, fine art, china painting, antique doll reproduction and high fire clay art. It has been thru the past several years, while Carla has served as Chamber of Commerce president for Jackson County, that the efforts of the heritage quilt trail that is active in Allgood, has developed into an interest in Jackson County and the surrounding areas. With other committed individuals and groups, such as the Golden Needles Quilt Guild in Gainesboro, the effort to continue a heritage quilt trail thru Jackson County has been formulated. This fall in October, there will be three quilt boards celebrating the history and the importance of the civil war era quilts unveiled in Gainesboro and Granville. Carla has agreed to produce these boards for the community and the patterns used will be the log cabin, the basket pattern and the antique rose tree pattern. It has been her desire and pleasure to celebrate the accomplishments of the artists that have gone before her, with a record and a dedication to the hard work, creativeness, and ingeniousness of this heritage art form. Carla hopes that by celebrating the originality and the joyfulness of the regional quilt as art, that a committment to women everywhere will be continued and preserved for future generations.
Carla is currently active in Gainesboro-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, a member of Jackson County Historical Society, Doll Artisan Guild, World Organization of China Painters, International Porcelain Painters and Teachers, Cookeville Art Society and Golden Needles Quilt Guild. She serves as a board member for the Upper Cumberland Arts Alliance and belongs to Upper Cumberland Tourism Association.