Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Preparing a Hope Chest

Ri was never very interested in doing much about a hope chest...until Superman. Then she began to panic. Her older sister and one of her friends had been working on theirs awhile, but she had very little, and I do mean very little for hers. At the time she didn't even have a hope chest, she just kept her few things in a box, but once we got past the first few months of courting she began to get concerned that she would not have the things she would need once she got married. So we got busy, and she started asking for hope chest items for her birthday and Christmas. Occasionally she still has a little panic attack, but I've done my best to assure her everything will be fine. Between my mom, step-mom, and hubby and me (hubby doesn't actually do the shopping, he's more of a financial backer to our plans :D), she's amassed a rather decent supply of (mostly) kitchen items. My mother and I each got her  4 place settings of the nice dishes she wanted last Christmas, and, among other things, she also has a set of glasses, several pans, casserole dishes, and serving dishes, as well as numerous kitchen linens (she thinks it's a lot, but she'll learn), and plenty of the odds and ends, like spatulas, graters, serving spoons, etc. Thanks to my step-mother, she even has a real chest to put it all in now. For Christmas she passed on to Ri a very nice blanket chest she had, already partially filled with some of the wedgewood dishes Ri had always admired when at her and my father's house, and some everyday dishes. I have made a point of picking her up a few things once a month, or taking her to pick out a few things herself once a month. Plus, I've reminded her that she has a bridal shower to look forward to. Considering the fact that's she's already more than filled the chest and has started having to use the attic accesses to store her items, I'm sure she'll at least have all the basics covered by the time she gets married.

I've also been working on some other things for her hope chest. In times past, young girls worked on their hope chests for years, with mothers, sisters, grandmothers and friends helping to fill it with items they would make. I've read that sometimes the girls would work on quilt tops that would later be quilted by all the women in the community at a quilting bee once the girl became engaged., and at her shower friends and family would give her other linens they had made for her. Those chests were filled with items lovingly sewn for her and her future family. Today most of the items a young woman accumulates will have been purchased, but I wanted to try and capture just a bit of what was so common all those years ago. With that in mind I have been sewing things to add to her hope chest. I have several things finished and several more in mind. It all kind of started when I decided that I could better use some of my chaperone time actually making things Ri could one day use, so I started knitting washcloths during the time Superman would be over if I didn't have some other type of work I had to to at the time. Here are some of the things that I've made for her.

The wash cloths, from my favorite pattern. These work up pretty quickly.
I've already finished one more and have another started. I want to give her a dozen, so I'm almost there.
Nothing glamorous here. Just rags I made from scraps that were leftover from a hooded baby towel, but no new bride wants to use her nice, new kitchen towles and washcloths to clean up a really grubby mess. This is the second set I've made. Maybe her nice towels will stay that way for a little while.
Hanging towels for the kitchen. This is also the second set I've made. The other two were made from sunflower patterned towels and pot holders. I plan on making her a few potholders from the fabric I used for the top of these. I just need to order some Insul Brite. The local fabric store didn't have it.
I just finished these embroidered pillow cases this weekend. Ri saw the pre-printed cases in a fabric store in Gastonia and I just had to get it for her since the quilt I'm making her is a sunflower pattern. I promptly lost the instructions right after I copied down the list of floss colors I'd need from the store, so I just winged it. Since I was doing it on my own I decided to make the butterflies different on each one. I think I like it better that way. Superman says he sould have the one with the big blue butterfly and Ri can have the one where the large butterfly is pink. Ri told him it didn't matter because he wouldn't be sleeping on them anyway - they were just for looks, and only to be used when making the bed. He didn't get it.
I fully lined the interior so the embroidery threads wouldn't get pulled as much when taking it off and on. After that, I finished the edge with a yellow shell border.
I finally finshed cutting out all the wedges I'll need for the petals on Ri's quilt.
All 720, plus extra - just in case.
I've also started sewing them. There are a couple finished ones to the left.

I think making items for a bride to include in her house will make setting up her own home all the more special for her. I want Ri to look at these later and know how much I love her and want the best for her and her family.

*Oh - I nearly forgot to mention that she has a sweet friend that she met through blogging that surprised her with several things, both for the kitchen and for her sewing supplies, along with a beautiful little handmade table runner. It was a wonderful gift.*
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  1. Never contradict your mother - yes you did.

  2. LOL! I laughed about the pillow cases too. They just don't understand having things just to look pretty... :)
    Wow! It looks like Riah has quite a collection!
    I'd love the see your quilts! Our church fellowship makes one for each young couples as they get married. It is a lot of fun being a part of that.

  3. Oh, I bet it is fun to be a part of quilt making for a new couple. We went to a church many years ago that would do things like that, but I didn't sew nearly as well then, so I didn't actually work on the quilts.

    I only have one photo of a quilt on the site so far, though I'm steadily working on both Beenie's and Ri's and hope to have more pictures soon. The photo I have is of Bree's quilt that I finished last year. I went back and checked, and since I didn't have it labled sewing (don't know why), I put it under that label so it would be easier to find. It's on the second page. I don't know if this will link, but here's the page url. http://petticoatjunctionsmom.blogspot.com/2010/08/brees-quilt.html

  4. I always like those kind of quilts with the patterns made using squares. We owned the dark purple fabric before... Think we used it in a couple projects. :)