HANNIBAL | A mother's dream is coming true at the same time as her children's dreams, with the family opening up a quilting business and a catering business in the same building on St. Mary's Avenue.
Gina Janes, owner of Batting By The Roll, has been busy preparing for her grand opening event beginning Thursday, August 6, at 2611 St. Mary's Avenue. Her son, Lee, is also busy with preparations for his new business, Huckleberry Catering — which will provide gourmet and custom catering services. Gina and Lee Janes will be opening their new businesses in the site of the former Huckleberry Bakery, founded by Gina's daughter, Emily. Emily and Lee's mother was looking forward to transitioning her business from being a vendor at area quilt shows — which have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and starting her business in a building with family business ties.
“The bakery part of it was the kids' dream, but my dream has been the quilting aspect of it,” Janes said.
Janes remembered she “grew up with it in my blood” as she learned from her mother, Merlene Baird, a retired home economics professor. As she grew up, she hadn't done any sewing projects or quilting until she made her first baby quilt for her son, who will be 30 this year.
“That's kind of when I got bit by the bug,” Janes said. “I made my first baby quilt, and I just never stopped. I just really loved it.”
Janes has been a member of the Hannibal Piecemakers Quilt Guild for 27 years, and she purchased a computerized Gammill Statler Stitcher longarm quilting machine with her mother in 2010. She stressed how fellow quilters and businesses like the Hickory Stick, Bits and Pieces and the Quilting Body Shop have formed a tight-knit “quilting community” in the Hannibal area. Janes described the relationship as “very complimentary.” Peg Colyar, who co-owns the Quilting Body Shop with herdaughter,AndreaBrown, agreed.
“Everybody works together,” Colyar said. “When you start something new — of course it depends on what you do — we are all trying to have something that's a little bit different from each otherso that we're not stepping on each other's toes.”
Janes is looking forward to the grand opening for Batting By The Roll, which will include refreshments and take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, August 6 to Saturday,August8at2611St. Mary's Avenue. More information is available by calling 573-231-2059. Janes said she hopes she can work to pass along the tradition of quilting to future generations as she makes her dream come true.
“That's what I would really love, I'm having a granddaughter in October, and I would love for her to love quilts, too,” Janes said.