Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Color Question

“How do you choose colors or patterns for the hope chest?” “Won’t color preferences and fashions change over time?” The inability to answer these two questions might inhibit having a hope chest altogether, since such uncertainty constrains making choices. It may seem easier to wait.

I do understand the problem. Fashions change and certain colors and patterns can reflect certain time periods. When I began this project, Miss Abigail was still quite young and simply didn’t have an opinion about much. At this point in time, Abigail knows a bit more about what she likes when it comes to color and style, but she is still very changeable as to which color is her “favorite.” The following facts help me resolve this problem.

1. Because favorite colors change throughout your life, choosing the one particular color cannot be the primary consideration in creating a hope chest. Rather, many classic colors and traditional patterns will always be fashionable.

2. Our family tends not to be particularly fashionable anyway. I am certainly more practical than trendy and I admit that my own household reflects this. Our limited resources flow in directions other than fashion. I’m actually hoping to pass this value along to Abigail. So, if some items seem a little dated by the time she uses them, I'm hoping that it won't matter to her.

3. In my experience, most early households feature a pretty big mix of collected items and have a kind of characteristic mingling of different colors and thrift-store style. Some objects might be deliberately chosen, but just as many are gifted or scrounged from relatives. Early marriage certainly illustrates the adage that “beggars can’t be choosers.” I assume Abigail’s first household will be quite eclectic, just like all the others.

4. I don't intend for most of these items to last Abigail through her whole lifetime. I certainly hope the bulk of the kitchen linens will be used up and replaced after some time. I only want her to have beautiful things to use in those early years when resources like time and money are tight. Miss Abigail will have plenty of time to collect or create what she loves later, when she is more established and secure. I do recognize that silverware or patterned china are a little different. We're waiting on these items for now, and I will certainly urge Abigail to choose the classic and timeless.

So, in my mind, at least, the issue of color and pattern doesn’t have to be such a big problem. And a hot pad is just a hot pad, after all. One colorful quilt keeps you just as warm as another. Although you may make a different choice, I’m banking on the fact that Miss Abigail will enjoy using a beautiful, handmade hot pad, whether or not it matches her current favorite color scheme.

I actually do have a kind of organizational scheme for the hope chest, at least for those items that I’m making now. Miss Abigail may take things in a different direction as she comes to “own” the hope chest more, but for now I’m driving the train. Stay aboard, if you’re interested. The hope chest color strategy is coming up next.


  1. "Early Marriage Hand be downs" we all started that way! Actually, I think it makes you appreciate and care for the "good" stuff when you finally get it!

  2. I'd think just make something in whatever color she likes at the time :) :) I like having the eclectic mix of things :) :) ..and you're right, as things need replacing, she can replace them with a style she likes, once she's figured that out ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather :) :) :)

    p.s. I love reading about all the things you're putting in her hope chest :) :) It's so lovely :)

  3. I have had several similar conversations with my mother about this very thing. A lot of the things I make are in neutral or seasonal colors, but as you say, a hot pad is a hot pad. If any of them end up clashing with my color schemes, I can put them away when company comes over. I definitely expect to have no time or money to spare when I'm first married, so the more pretty things I can make now, the better!


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