TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rayela Art and HeArt of Healing Gallery Welcome Quilters to Paducah!

Rachel Biel and Christi Bonds Garrett, AKA Rayela Art 
and HeArt of Healing Gallery, join hands and share 
in their love of cultural textiles.

The quilters are here!  The quilters are here!  The AQS event stirs Paducah into action, waking up the town after a wintry sleep.  Awaited with anticipation, the quilt show is our big yearly event, the core for those or us who love fabric and textiles in Quilt City USA.  I have had a booth at 212 Broadway in an antique store for three years now.  Ownership of the space changed and is now operated by Tanya and Randy, who have truly developed the space into a wonderful eclectic mix of antiques and local crafts.  Christi moved her inventory from her clinic/gallery in LowerTown to a large booth space across from mine making our combined space into a large ethnic delight of textiles from around the world. 

Rachel Biel in front of Afghan Tribal Arts' booth of beads.

Our friend, Abdul is also here,. renting a temporary space.  Stocked with beads, mostly semi-precious hand-carved stones from Afghanistan, his booth is a must visit for anyone who uses them in their work.  I like to incorporate beads and findings into my textiles and encourage other art quilters to think outside of the box in how stones can be incorporated into surface design.

Christi and I have many overlapping interests and then specialties that complement our product mix.  HeArt of Healings focus:  vintage kimono and molas.  Christi rattles off all the different names for the working, wedding, women's, men's and other kimono, how they should be worn and the techniques that were used in decorating the fabric.  There are hundreds of them!  Gorgeousness on racks!  Initially, her idea was to cut them up and sell them as fabric for quilters, but they are just too beautiful to randomly suffer attack under the scissors.  As her collection has grown, so has the quality, making them valuable pieces of wearable art.  She has often adapted her kimono to make them more functional for her lifestyle: if the sleeves and length are shortened, the remnants can be used in other projects.  And, the molas....  my, my!  What a stunning collection!

Christi Bonds Garrett modeling a kimono and 
straightening a rack from her booth.

Rayela Art focus:  My textiles are mostly from Central Asia, although I have started branching out and investing in small objects for the booth.  I was able to purchase some fair trade items that add a fun touch to my space: Bolivian instruments and dolls, palm visors and fans, and lots of Indonesian sarongs, always a big seller.

I get a big kick out of seeing all the action downtown during the quilt show.  Paducah becomes alive and we all benefit from both the financial contribution the quilters bring to our local economy as well as the relationships that are formed during this time.  I've met a couple of my cyber friends in person for the first time, transforming names and photos into real people, which was great fun.  And, there is just a wonderful exchange of stories and sharing that happens which is truly wonderful.

If you are in Paducah, please do stop by the Antique Galleria and visit us.  We are just a couple of blocks from the Quilt Museum, down by the flood wall.  If you are not here, then visit us online:

Rayela Art
HeArt of Healing Gallery
Afghan Tribal Arts



  1. What a fabulous place to be and I'm sorry I'm missing it. This is on my "want to vist" list and, really, I'm only a state away...hope springs eternal.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. Rachel - It is good to see you looking so adorable and very happy! xo.


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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