Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Drying and Dying Queen Anne's Lace

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. . .

 Sharing with: *Anything Blue Friday


Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

You can dye natural fabrics and yarn with the queen anne's lace, it makes a lovely yellow.

Debby said...

Such a great post. Love the pictures.

cynthia lee designs said...

Your Queen Anne's lace is so pretty. Love it colored blue. I wish I could have some to display, but I'm allergic to it.
Have a Happy 4th of July! We are going to go see fireworks tonight, because it is going to rain here for the next several days.

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I don't think we have Queen Anne's Lace around here. It's sure pretty though.

Pamela Gordon said...

I love Queen Anne's Lace and it's blooming here right now. I like your idea for drying and dyeing it. ;) Your bouquets are very pretty. Happy July 4th to you and yours. Pam

Mary Ann said...

I know what I'll be looking for in the pasture today! Thanks for the great tips! Happy Fourth!

Patti said...

This is a wonderful post! Hmmmm, I need to look around and see if QALace grows up in the mountains. What a fun thing to doa,

Debby Ray said...

Thanks for the tutorial...I love Queen Anne's Lace....going to try this! I have tried the dying technique with carnations...can't wait to try it with these!

Old Time Cindy said...

Never have seen the jar method for drying. Interesting! Have a wonderful 4th!!!
Farmhouse hugs,

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This is so pretty! I will try it if I find some Queen's Ann's Lace!

Diane said...

I have never dyed flowers before, but I love the idea! Yours are such a pretty color. Have a Happy 4th!

Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

My Grandmother used to dye Queen Anne's Lace with me. Such a fun and simple science experiment!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I think Queen Anne's lace is so pretty. Thank you for the instructions on how to dry and dye it. I will have to check to see if I can find some still in bloom! Will save your instructions. Happy 4th!! Nancy

Unknown said...

I never thought about drying Queen Anne's Lace! It's so lovely, I dug up a few clumps on my country road when we first moved here from the city. Thought I was going to plant them close to the house so I could enjoy them and watch them spread. Well, they lasted about ten minutes before they "keeled over and died"! City people~what do we know? Anyway, I can hardly wait to go collect more and try your drying technique - and dying! Love your blog. Wish I could meet you, sister country girl (woman)! Found you at Anything Blue Friday.
His blessings,
Kim @ Curtain Queen

Debbie @ MeandMyDIY said...

Hi there, I saw your link over at Anything Blue Friday. Your picture caught my eye because it reminded me of when I was a kid and we used to bring Queen Anne's Lace home and dye it. Oh what fun memories. I've never thought of drying them, but I'll now how next time I see a bunch begging to be picked! Thanks for sharing.


Little Susie Home Maker said...

I like your grandma's canning jar method! They look so pretty. I am not remembering seeing any of that Queen's Ann Lace around here, but it sure is pretty! What fun to dye it different colors! I was surprised to realize how many flowers you can dye with food coloring? I think I am going to experiment with that, as well. Thanks for such a pretty post and idea.
Sounds like you had planned a great Fourth! We had Momma over here with us and we cooked and had fun. It was so tough without Daddy. I sure missed him more than ever. God bless you!

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