Lovely thought or slightly icky - AIBU?

(122 Posts)
traininthedistance Sun 01-Dec-13 15:13:10

Sorry if too long! To set the scene, DD was born a few months ago. DH comes from a long family of extreme hoarders - nothing is too weird to keep; they have houses and houses full of their stuff and dead relatives' stuff. They are very well off - household incomes over 80k or more, but are also very very tight with money - DH's aunt's baby gift was two £1 soft toys from IKEA. (DD loves them more than any expensive item though, and I'm not at all precious about presents, this is just to give you an idea of the family background!)

DH's (step, much older) sister didn't give us a baby gift either - I thought it was strange in passing but she's buying a house so assumed money was a bit tight at the moment, no biggie, people don't have to buy us presents! Plus we live in a teeny tiny 2-bed modern flat with only one living room/kitchen and DD's room is minuscule, so we have literally nowhere to store anything and I'm happy to be very minimalist about stuff.

This week I found out from another relative that as a Christening gift to DD, DH's sister is making DD a patchwork quilt - out of their great-grandmother's old clothes. Great-grannie died about a decade ago and all her everyday clothes have been in DH's aunt's attic since then, so DD obviously never met her, and neither did I. Recently DH's aunt expressed a desire to get rid of the clothes but no-one wants to pack them off to the charity shop/landfill (but no-one else in the family wants them in their house to keep either). SIL apparently sees this quilt as a heritage family heirloom item that we are definitely not meant to get rid of.

AIBU to be a bit creeped out about the idea of this? I get that lots of people may say that this is a lovely idea and a nice thing to do; but I have already bought DD a lovely cotbed quilt and feel a bit odd and creeped out about a quilt made of a dead relative's clothes that I didn't even know.

I also think it's more related to the fact that SIL doesn't want to do the emotional work of getting rid of the clothes and is sort of offloading the sentimental responsibility of the clothes onto us if you see what I mean. I think it would be very different if we had expressed a desire to have it or had said we thought it would be lovely for DD, but she hasn't asked us....We really really don't have anywhere to put it to hang on to it.

(And last of all being very PFB I know but I had chosen the things for DD's room and it won't go....) It seems an awkward situation if SIL spends ages making this and we then have to say we don't really want it (though I could never say this - we'd just end up not saying anything, but then how do we deal with her expecting it to be used/kept as a family heirloom?) I really don't like the idea of the quilt at all for DD - sorry if I sound ungrateful!

What to do?

bababababoom Sun 01-Dec-13 15:17:23

I personally think it's a lovely idea and even if you don't keep it in your dd's room, you should accept it. Just because you don't like the idea, doesn't mean it won't mean anything to your dd as she gets older.

smaths Sun 01-Dec-13 15:17:44

I would accept the quilt, pretend to be pleased and stick it in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. If ever asked where it is, say it's in the wash, or you didn't want it to get puked on/peed on etc. I'm sure they won't expect you to have it on display at all times.

PrincessFlirtyPants Sun 01-Dec-13 15:17:45

I'm not sure what I would do...

What is going through my mind is why the relatives clothes confused why not give your daughter a nice piece of your relatives jewellery or something that tells her more about her relatives (photos etc)

I'm not sure I'd want a blanket made from someone else's clothes, seems a bit odd.

capsium Sun 01-Dec-13 15:17:49

I could be a wall hanging? Might look good.

harriet247 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:18:37

Smile say thankyou and fold it under dd cot,it doesnt have to be out it in open smile

JumpingJackSprat Sun 01-Dec-13 15:18:41

I think you need to either think of this as just material and say thank you for a gift made with love, or speak up and say if you really want to make a quilt I will provide material which matches decor. It's highly likely that the quilt will last longer than the decor. It sounds like a lovely thought and to be honest it's not for you is for the child. If you don't want it out then put it away until she is older. My nan has made me a patchwork blanket which doesn't match any of my decor but I'm so thankful that she has made v it. She made one for my partners child and he loves it to pieces.

PrincessFlirtyPants Sun 01-Dec-13 15:18:45

Strange offer capisum grin

peppersquint Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:28

Eww - no I would not like it - but I would accept in good grace, hide it somewhere and bring it out if (and when) you got visits

ThisIsMeNow Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:33

Can you store it under the cot? Had the aunt got kids? Who can you pass it on to as soon as possible next?

DuchessFanny Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:35

Can you accept it and pop it away somewhere ? Only getting it out for visits or something ?
I can't see how you can refuse it without majorly offending her, as it sounds like it would a lot in her eyes ??

lessemin Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:35

Well I would accept it then stick it in a vaccume bag and put it away somewhere.

capsium Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:36
MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:41

Creepy and weird.

You didn't know her. Your child didn't know her.

Sounds like she wanted to make a quilt but didn't want to pay for fabric.

maddy68 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:46

I think that is a lovely idea! How can it be that she doesn't want the effort of getting rid of the clothes? It's far more effort to make a bleedin quilt

Fab41 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:19:57

Isn't it just vintage material? As long as you can give it a good hot wash, it will be fine!

lessemin Sun 01-Dec-13 15:20:57

X post
You lot type really fast!

capsium Sun 01-Dec-13 15:22:01

Oh I've spotted my mistake Princess grin Obviously I meant 'It'.

MiracleOntheM4 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:26:03

I also think that's a lovely idea and gesture. Lots of work will go into it and given the financial status of the family it is probably going to be high quality, vintage material.

rumbleinthrjungle Sun 01-Dec-13 15:28:54

I can see both sides. But then in the last year or two I got very interested in our family history and got to know a lot about my great great grandmother, a lady I never met and would have loved to know. I have a necklace of hers that is very precious to me and would love to have some of her clothes or things that belonged to her and would be over the moon to have a quilt like this.

I'd suggest wrapping it carefully, putting it in the loft and leaving it a decade or three. It may in time come to be very special to somebody in the family, not to mention the historical and antique/curio monetary value it may come to have of preserving these bits of fabrics, while putting it away might reduce the creep factor for you.

babyboomersrock Sun 01-Dec-13 15:30:14

The thing is, many quilters do use scraps of old clothing to make quilts. It's just unfortunate that you know whose clothes they were!

Difficult one. How often is she likely to visit? Rarely enough for you to store it elsewhere - your parents' attic, for example - bringing it out for auntie's visits? And are there likely to be other babies in the extended family to whom it could be passed on - soon - as an (ahem) heirloom?

You never know, OP, it could be made from fine antique silks and be a thing of beauty. On the other hand, it could be a 60s Crimplene horror.

squoosh Sun 01-Dec-13 15:31:51

Accept it, coo over it and if you still don't like it stick it in a drawer and forget about it. If she then makes your daughter a bracelet made of Granny's teeth maybe it's time to say something.

BillyBanter Sun 01-Dec-13 15:31:52

Doesn't creep me out but I suppose that depends on the finished article.

I'd just treat it like any other present. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't.

OneMoreThenNoMore Sun 01-Dec-13 15:35:07

Try to think of it as "vintage fabric" rather than a dead relative's clothes. Accept it graciously, give it a good wash and put it away if it's not to your taste. We received quite a few handmade gifts for our dcs; some we loved, some not so much, but we kept them all.

It might look really cool though! smile

traininthedistance Sun 01-Dec-13 15:36:31

Thanks all! I know it sounds like it could be a lovely idea. I infer that the clothes are more 60s/70s crimplene horror than fine vintage material though. We definitely haven't dove to hang it as a wall hanging....

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