View Full Version : Family Advice?

February 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
I may be putting the cart before the horse, but I'm having issues with a little family hear say...

My MIL told my DH that 2 of my nieces wanted quilts. That doesn't bother me. I'd gladly make them each a quilt. What is niggling at me is what my DH's aunt said. It isn't niece "X" that wants a quilt, it's her mom that only wants a T Shirt quilt made with all of her band T- Shirts.

My current SIL (niece X's Mom) makes no effort to see us when we go to IN. We're never invited to "her" home and she assumed that since her brother is gay, my family wouldn't know how to act in front of him over Christmas holidays this year. It was so obvious that she was a nervous wreck when her brother insisted on visiting my MIL with his significant other. It bothered me that she thought anyone in my family could be so heartless.

Anyway, DH told MIL that the nieces would have to talk to me. I'm fine with that. If niece X wants a t-shirt quilt, I'll gladly make it for her. I love her as if she were one of my BIL's own kiddos, but if it's only for SIL... I'm not to sure it would ever get finished.

I'm feeling like I'm being kind of petty about it all. Should I just wait and see if they call at all before I get my panties in a wad?? Of course, I have another niece that I offered my mom's china. She's yet to call either. My granddaughter is going to end up with it. No skin off my nose about that!

Thanks for suggestions and advice!

February 16th, 2017, 11:24 PM
It's not petty. I wouldn't do it. Why? because they are going all around you and your going to feel guilty if you don't do it. Just say you don't know how to work with knits-wits. lol

Sorry, I didn't really mean that, just being silly. I had a family take advantage of me and your story just brought me back there. I hope you get good advice. :)

February 16th, 2017, 11:44 PM
I think I understand where you are coming from. Family issues are seldom simple or easy. I think your stance of wait and see if your nieces call and ask is a good response. You indicate you would gladly make a quilt for them. Making a quilt is not only a work of art, but a work of love, and I can understand you feeling it would be hard to complete a quilt for someone who you are not close to.

The flip side of this is that you could take the high-road and maybe making a quilt for your SIL would open the doors of communication and you will find some common ground.

I also appreciate your statement that you have the manners to not be rude to her brother and his partner. It's a shame fewer people can't have that attitude and demeanor.

The above is just my two cents worth. I hope you figure out your situation.

Carlie Wolf
February 16th, 2017, 11:45 PM
I tend to agree with Hulamoon. It's too manipulative for me and that usually turns out to be much more pain in the neck than it can ever be worth it for me. You could always say you don't know how to do Tshirt quilts when your niece asks (for her mother) and then press her on what other type of quilt that you can do would she love.

February 17th, 2017, 01:09 AM
I think this is all good advice. for some reason, people think that they should get a quilt from a quilter as a gift and really, there is more to it than that. we do it because we love the craft and we want to share it, but we do it for love. if these nieces aren't coming around to be friends and loved ones, then I would just not be eager to bestow this wonderful gift to them. I have a customer at the restaurant that continually hints that I should just make her a special quilt because she comes in often. I tried to explain that my time making quilts is for the children and she is certainly welcome to donate and purchase one and I would even be willing to make one in colors she would appreciate. ;the request for special t-shirt quilts etc is more than an act of making a quilt. wait and see

February 17th, 2017, 08:22 AM
Katrina....tough shoes to walk in, sweetie!

From my perspective on your quandary.......I only create items from fabric for those who appreciate me, show they care and would appreciate the gesture.
If niece X really wants the T-shirt quilt done? Have her supply the additional materials and make the request.

February 17th, 2017, 09:28 AM
I think you should wait for your niece/nieces to approach you. Family drama is uncomfortable at best...good luck.

February 17th, 2017, 10:23 AM
I agree with everyone, wait and see. I don't like people who him and haw and beat around the bush. Come out and say what you want.

February 17th, 2017, 10:52 AM
Wait for your niece/s to approach you. That way you will know that they really want it and also they can tell you what they like. Let them know up front that it is not for a dog bed or used as a car cover! You can also tell them how to care for it. The dog/cat/pet can cuddle up with them and the quilt though.

February 17th, 2017, 11:17 AM
I reread your post and my response and I'm still going to stick by it. Nieces yes if they ask. SIL not so much. Show her this
https://www.etsy.com/listing/261334062/tee-shirt-quilt-made-from-your-shirts?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=tee shirt quilt&ref=sr_gallery_23

There are other sellers on Etsy too, so she can shop around. :D

cv quilter
February 17th, 2017, 12:03 PM
I agree about waiting for her to approach you. I hate family drama, and it seems we all have some at some time. Lorie, that's a wonderful link to show her. It would let her know the value of having the T shirt quilt made.

February 17th, 2017, 01:45 PM
I would wait until the nieces ask you themselves. That is what I would do. Good luck with it.

February 17th, 2017, 02:32 PM
Just wait and see who calls and asks for a quilt. If it happens, either from the nieces or from the SIL, then make it. Even for the SIL, because she asked, and it might open up a new relationship for y'all. But I doubt if she will ask.

Most often I've found that people who try to shield family from other family members isn't because of the family, but more because the person is embarrassed about it or unsure about how they themselves deal with the situation. We have members in our family who are lesbians, drug addicts, alcoholics, and unwed partners and we all treat them like family, even though their own family is agitated about it.

Mary Lynn
February 17th, 2017, 09:03 PM
Family drama! Quilting is your hobby & should bring you joy. Quilts should only be a gift for those who you know will appreciate them.

February 17th, 2017, 09:23 PM
Being a former (and unhappy) people pleaser I finally decided on some personal rules.
If someone wants something from me they need to open their mouth and tell it in simple terms. I'm not a mind reader.
I never do he said/she said. I will shoot the messenger:)
I'm kind whenever possible. If not possible then I quickly and abruptly shut the other person down.
My no means no.
I agree with the group.

Anna Leigh
February 18th, 2017, 10:04 AM
That is a sticky situation. I personally when it comes to family am really direct. There is no beating around the bush when it comes to frankness in my household. If you really want to get to the bottom of things just come right out and ask and at the same time make it clear that you do not find your nephew's lifestyle offencive. Yes, I guarantee somebody will be offended but at least you will have a piece (peace) of mind. Not to mention everything will be out in the open.

February 18th, 2017, 10:41 AM
When anyone asks for a quilt (and some get them even if they don't ask!), I go and try to do it. Rarely get thank you's.....but that's ok.....I figure if nothing else, every quilt I make benefits me---it helps exercise my 'creative' genius, it gives me more experience and my quarter inch gets better and better and my SITD is now almost perfect.......FMQ is now on the way....And who knows it might provide an opportunity to 'clear the air' if there's any drama. But I'm semi-retired so I have the time. Doing something nice for somebody is always a blessing to me and it could be a blessing to someone else.

February 18th, 2017, 01:31 PM
All the information you've mentioned about your SIL wanting the quilt is second-hand info passed along by others. Your husband has sent the message that the nieces need to talk with you. (Yay for him!) I say put it out of your mind until/unless one or both asks you for a quilt. Then if you want, do it. If your niece then gives her quilt to your SIL, so be it (and I wouldn't give her another quilt).

February 19th, 2017, 12:30 AM
I reread your post and my response and I'm still going to stick by it. Nieces yes if they ask. SIL not so much. :D

That would be my take on it.

February 19th, 2017, 10:56 AM
When someone asks me to make them a quilt I check my "heart meter". Do I care enough to make them a quilt? Do they care enough to be a recipient of one of my works of love? I'm not saying there's strings attached, but when I make and give a quilt I'm giving a piece of my heart. So, that's me.

And if someone doesn't have enough desire to come directly to me, not happening.

February 19th, 2017, 08:48 PM
Thank you all for your advice.

I am going to wait and see.

My nephew's (Dr. Math that's graduating with his PhD in math this spring) quilt is at my MIL's house. She won't let the nieces (his sister and step-sister- niece X) open it since I addressed it to him. She's a smart ol' broad ;) Nephew has been busy with his dissertation and job interviews so hopefully he'll get up there to see Grandma soon.

I think I'll be hearing from the nieces after that. Niece X is graduating from high school this year and that is a good reason to make her a quilt. With the way her mother treats her, I hope she'll stay in school long enough to graduate!

The other niece graduates from high school next year. She's adopted and lives mostly with her Mom, the ex SIL. No drama on that front! Yippee!

We'll see what happens... I have a top about finished (Cornered Drunkard's Path- with batiks and black) and I think one or the other of them would like it. Like I said, I'm going to wait and see what happens.

lol, and wait on my oldest son's family to find the house of their dreams, our house to sell so we can move closer to the grands and the youngest to find a job in our new location!

February 19th, 2017, 10:26 PM
Just want to add that I think you are smart to try to plan in advance how to respond should another indirect hint/request come your way. And I'm wondering too if a very negative sil was just using the topic of quilts as a way to backbite you, since she knows your quilting skills. When someone uses others for messengers and just to be really nasty, ascribes poor behavior to you without any basis in experience or reality it's just a no win situation. You would be wise to stay out of it and see if your nieces establish a relationship with you when they are more independent. A quilt to commemorate a graduation doesn't have to be delivered on the graduation day, after all, and there are other occasions where a quilt would be appropriate. And hooray for your hubby to have the right answer when this issue came up.