One of the blessings of writing this blog has been to connect with people who e-mail me. I have received a number of e-mails that say something like this: "I am getting married in such and such month (about six months away), and really want to have something like a hope chest..." or "My daughter is getting married in three months and I would really like to make a quick hope chest for her, but am also busy with wedding plans..." or "I would love to make a hope chest for my daughters, but I'm not very skilled at sewing or embroidery..." The common expression is a wish for creating a quick and/or simple hope chest and they each ask for my suggestions on how to accomplish this. I've thought about this idea of quick and simple as it applies to a hope chest.
Obviously, one common aspect of a hope chest is for a young girl to develop the skills she will need to create a home, and, in the process, create items for her future use. This isn't usually accomplished either quickly or easily. But, another important aspect of making a hope chest is simply collecting and acquiring the useful items and accepting and profiting from the gifts and wisdom of older and more experienced mentors. I am all for encouraging anyone who wants to have a hope chest, regardless of the time available or who might make it!
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you cannot miss the significance of what I am creating for Miss Abigail. She has made a number of lovely things for her hope chest, and I'm sure will create more as she reaches an age when her own "nesting" instincts kick in. I continue to encourage and help her. But, I'm sure it doesn't escape any of you that, because of some really magnificent gifts, even some fairly ordinary gifts, and my own steady contribution, Miss Abigail is one lucky girl! But this is what any mother might wish for her daughter, even if the time is short. You probably agree or you wouldn't be reading this blog. So, I've set myself a challenge - to produce a "weekend hope chest." To see if one could produce a nice collection of basic, necessary handmade items in a really short time. My husband thinks I'm a little crazy and my friends are doubtful. In fact, one friend thinks the idea of a weekend hope chest might defeat the purpose of a hope chest altogether. But this is my response to all those who continue to want to create a hope chest in a hurry.
So I made a list of what I think is basic. I have ransacked my resources for projects that are both beautiful and quick, and I've shopped for and collected all the stuff, including details like buttons, thread and a new blade for the rotary cutter. (BTW, I've kept track of all my expenses and I won't be revealing the totality of this info to my husband, but you might be interested.) I've organized the steps and made a work plan. I've cleaned the sewing room. Now I'm just looking for two days in a row to meet the challenge. Because I try to keep the Sabbath, and this project will certainly qualify as work, my calendar cannot include Sunday. So, stay tuned...
I would love to hear your comments about what would have to be included in such a hope chest. What do you think?