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!

Rebecca Wiley said...

How long will the dried queen annes lace last? Its in bloom right now but want to use in my daughters wedding the end of August. Will it last that long?

Rebecca Wiley, Parsons, KS

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