If you are looking for a quick project for the hope chest, you can't beat running stitch embroidery. The running stitch is usually the first stitch learned by a beginning embroiderer because it is so easy to manage and gives a fast finish to the design. You can stitch it using the "poke and stab" method, bringing the needle up and down through the fabric in separate motions, or by gathering two or three stitches at once on the needle in one continuous motion. This second method is most efficient, but may be a little harder to manage for children who are learning to use a needle for the first time.
Simple, coloring book style designs are fun to use with this stitch. This daisy was just a doodle for me. I'm sure that you could also draw a simple daisy-like flower to stitch or find one in a child's coloring book. I drew it out on scratch paper first and then used a transfer pen to trace the design on the flour-sack dish towel. I wanted to use a light colored floss for these towels, but a darker, more contrasting color will actually show up best. There are several tutorials on the Internet to teach you how to make this stitch. Mary Corbet's tutorial at Needle 'n Thread is a good one.
You are really only minutes away from a pretty dishtowel for the hope chest or even your own kitchen drawer. Give it a try!