Friday, April 25, 2014

New Project - A Quick Hope Chest


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?

8 comments:

  1. Oooh I am excited to see what you come up with! Angela

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  2. This sounds amazing and like a ton of fun! I'm excited to see what you come up with!

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  3. That sounds like fun! Do y'all have a Harbor Freight store anywhere close? I bought their round carpet cutter blades (2 in a pack for $2 or so) and are using them in my rotary cutter as the replacement blades. They are plenty sharp, work great, and much cheaper than the craft store brands. I've been using them for about 2 years with NO problems. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  4. Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

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  5. If the purpose of a "quick Hope Chest" is to put together lovely items for a new home then I'd suggest treasuring hunting at thrift stores. That's where I find beautiful handmade and/or hand decorated linens. If the purpose is to learn the skills of making the items, then there is no "quick" way; that's like asking to learn to play a difficult piano piece in a weekend with no prior training. Skills take time to develop, which is why we start children learning to sew, knit, crochet, embroider, etc. I'm eager to see what you come up with. I wasn't very successful teaching my daughter to sew and such. She just wasn't interested in the process, although she loves the product. She has now at age 24 taught herself to crochet and I expect that when she has children she'll be asking for help with other things too. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

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  6. This is quite a challenge! Having been a crafter all my life, starting with crocheting when I was 6 and adding to the list of skills over the years, I can appreciate what yo have set yourself up for. I'll be watching to see the outcome.
    And please, know that you have one cheerleader here who understands the perspective of those doubting, but loves a challenge herself!

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  7. That is quite a task you have set yourself, and I look forward to seeing the process and end result. Have fun.

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  8. If the weekend hope chest is doable and shipable, it might be a good project to do for families who have lost everything due to the tornados, and other disasters.

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