‘Twisted Stitches’ Opens at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture on April 5th

Staff Report From Tifton CEO

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Jimmy Gainey, “The Quilt King,” will be the star of the show when the new “Twisted Stitches” exhibit opens April 5 at the Gallery of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village.

“Jimmy is a true Renaissance man of many talents,” Museum Curator Polly Huff said. “He loves the art of quilting and dedicates his talent to keeping that art alive.”

“Twisted Stitches” opens at 10 a.m. at the Gallery on April 5, a date which coincides with the first day of the 2019 American Legacy Quilt Show, hosted in the same building as the exhibition. Gainey will be on hand on opening day to assist with tours of his exhibit and to talk about his quilting techniques.

The Wiregrass Quilters Guild will provide light refreshments for the drop-in exhibit opening, which ends at 3 p.m.  Gainey returns on April 6, the final day of the American Legacy Quilt Show.  “Twisted Stitches” will remain on display at the Gallery until mid-July. History and Government major Brittany Bass is the Curatorial Intern assisting Huff with the exhibit.

According to Huff, the “Twisted Stitches” exhibition will showcase a variety of quilts from simple to show work, made with various techniques from traditional pieced, paper pieced, machine applique, needle turned applique, and machine embroidery, all quilted on a long arm quilting machine.

Gainey's father purchased him a sewing machine when he was five years old. He began developing his skills and techniques by designing and sewing gowns for dolls. By the age of 10, Gainey’s skills had advanced to the point that he was designing gowns for adults. He decided to become at ballroom dancer when he was 18, which triggered a desire to design ballroom gowns.

By the age of 22, Gainey was teaching ballroom dancing and had graduated from Albany Technical College with a Diploma in Cosmetology.  While working as a co-owner of a salon, Estée Lauder Cosmetics picked him as the first man to manage a sales counter in the South. Gainey became the top sales person in the Southern Region for the six years he was employed by the cosmetics giant.

“In 2007, Jimmy became interested in quilting,” Huff said.  “By the following year, he had purchased a Gammill Long Arm Quilting Machine, and with his signature zest for learning, had begun mastering the art of quilting.

“Jimmy took many classes from various quilt artists, and started his own business, ‘Twisted Stitches Long Arm Quilting.’ In his shop, he quilts tops for customers when he is not producing his own top-quality show work.”

Dubbed “The Quilt King” by the Albany Herald, Gainey’s show pieces have been entered in numerous juried competitions across the Southeast. Throughout his quilting career, he has won many awards, including several Best of Shows.

Admission for “Twisted Stitches” is included in the Museum admission and also includes admission to the 2019 American Legacy Quilt Show.  Visitors on April 6 can also enjoy the annual Folklife Festival taking place in the Historic Village.