I know. . . .I know. . . .I promised you the drying technique for Queen Anne's Lace weeks ago. By the time I roamed the back roads to gather my favorite wildflower, the larger blooms were gone--they were seed. . . .Smaller blooms were still around though. . . .I managed to pick a bucket full. . . .enough to divide into three groups--some for drying with canning jars, some to hang and dry, and just a few to dye. . . .I'm hoping you still have them blooming in your area and can try these tips out!
Queen Anne's Lace heads tend to curl up into a ball if simply hung to dry. Every now and then there will be one or two that will stay flat, but not many. . . .At least in my experience.
Grandmother came up with an idea years ago. . . . .To use her canning jars as weights to keep the Lace flat. . . .Wasn't that smart?. . . .Some people bury them in sand or silica gel. . . . Since I'm sure she had neither, she made-do with what she had. . . .With her way, you don't lose a lot of the small white blooms that make up the flower head. . . .They are a bit more flat but still beautiful in arrangements.
Take a bucket of water with you to gather the Queen Anne's Lace. . . .Stick each stem into the water as it's cut. . . .This will ensure there will be no curling on the way home.
Drying with canning jars is very simple. . . .Spread newspaper on a table. . . .I don't worry about drying in the dark, so I use the potting shed table. . . .
Place a head upside down on the newspaper. . . .Add another head beside it, sharing canning jars between them. . . .Below left shows this--see how the two jars hold down each side?. . . .On the right, a jar will be placed between the two to catch both edges. . . .I left it out to show you the technique better.
Try to prop the stems up so that they will dry fairly straight. . . .They'll become very stiff. . . .I rarely have to wire them for arrangements.
Once dry, remove the jars and spray the blooms with a little clear spray paint or hair spray to help prevent shedding. . . .What could be simpler?
You're right! Hanging bunches tied with string or with rubber bands is simpler. . . .I had just hung these when I took the photos, so the heads had not curled up, yet, on the open ones. . . .The curled heads were already going to seed. . . .I do try to dry a few like this for variety.
I love the white blooms just as they are. . . .But, there are times I want to add a little color to them. . . .
To dye--a glass jar, water, and a little food coloring is all you need. . . .Red is usually my choice for tinting them pink, but I decided to try blue this time.
You can adjust the intensity by adding more food color. . . .I started with three or four "squirts" and got this soft, almost aqua blue. . . .Add more coloring until you achieve the color desired, waiting for several hours in between.
I've never tried drying the dyed blooms. . . .Might try it this year and see how they turn out. . . .It would be nice to have a few colors to pick from throughout the year.
If you have any other tips for drying or dying Queen Anne's Lace, please share them with us!
I love learning from YOU!
We all know what tomorrow is. . . .Our Country's Birthday!
I'm curling up in the corn crib swing while John does the cooking.
He's barbequing chicken, pork and hot dogs for himself--and the freezer--
grilling fish and veggies for me.
Looks like it will be a nice day weather-wise, too.
Stacking up to be a relaxing time together, I think.
To all our friends out in Blogland,
wherever you are and whatever you do. . . .
Please have a SAFE and HAPPY 4th!
Be sure to sing "Happy Birthday" to this
wonderful, free America we live in. . . .
. . . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .
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