18 April, 2011

Everlasting Pansies

I've really enjoyed my potted Pansies this spring; I plant them up in the fall in every available vessel on the patio, then they "winter over" (when all goes well) to provide spectacular color in the early spring. All the better to do dishes by and admire from our breakfast table. This season has been a particularly good one for the pansies; slow and fairly steady warming with no drastic, killing, frosts. As I was admiring the blooms a week or so ago I found myself thinking how nice it would be if the Pansies weren't so short-lived and could bloom on and on. That's when I remembered the doily. My grandmother crocheted doilies and my mother had brought me one a few years back adorned with a Pansy wreath as an outer border. Mom told me that my grandmother used to stiffen her doilies with a concentration of sugar water to get the edges to stand up. (Wasn't this an invitation for ants?) I had always admired, and cherished, the gift but hadn't used it because it was rather old and worn looking... frankly, it was just plain dingy. A friend had recently shared her success over soaking antique linens and laces in a solution of Biz and warm water overnight; the results were stunning. I figured I had nothing to lose and stirred up a solution in the laundry room sink. After an hour or so the water looked more like tea than a pre-soak, I drained off the dirty water, (sugar build-up?) made up a new solution, and plunked the doily back down in the suds. The next morning the doily appeared as fresh and bright as a pot of Pansies, I only wish I had taken a "before" shot to compare with the "after"! I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, now I have a family heirloom to grace my Easter table next Sunday (sans sugar water, thank you!); one bearing a wreath of Pansies, and everlasting ones at that, the very best kind!

...don't forget to comment on Saturday's MILESTONE post, six days remain...

Life is Good!

17 comments:

Charleen said...

The doily is gorgeous! The colorful border is so unique. It will be beautiful on your Easter table!

I wonder if the pansies would overwinter up here in PA? It's certainly worth a try next fall.

JCnNC said...

Love all the pansies - a breath of Spring inviting you outside. Thanks for the tip on soaking the older linens in Biz - I definitely intend to try this. Judy C

quiltkeemosabe said...

You could always use a solution of liquid starch to stiffen the doily without attracting the ants. It looks lovely. Maybe you need to make a pansy quilt???

*karendianne. said...

Oh my!!! What beauty. I can really appreciate this short of crochet work. It runs in my family although I've personally never had success with the size of the thread and to be honest, I've never seen anything with such lovely blooming color in a doily (in our family). What a gift for the upcoming holiday.

CarlaHR said...

What a lovely doily and thanks for the biz tip - my mother did lovely crochet work and I have a lot of her pieces that need some perking up.

Nane said...

I used to see these all over the house at my great Aunt's. The real pansies are lovely too and I always feel a little twinge of guilt when its time to replace them with something that can withstand our summer heat a little better. That Gregory what a doll! I know he will enjoy that swing this summer!

TotallyAmy said...

I wonder if you could use Borax instead of Biz?

lindsey said...

So pretty, I love pansies too and the doily adds a beautiful antique look. Have a blessed Easter!

Cheryl said...

Pansies are definitely my favorite and yours have done amazing. Love the doily and all the memories it holds...just beautiful. I remember my mom using sugar water on her moms handmade doilies...that Biz tip is wonderful.

Cheryl said...

Pansies are definitely my favorite and yours have done amazing. Love the doily and all the memories it holds...just beautiful. I remember my mom using sugar water on her moms handmade doilies...that Biz tip is wonderful.

Becky G said...

Thanks To M @ k1s2, I learned of this product 5-6 years ago. For a while I couldn't find it and was sad. The last couple of years I've been able to find it readily. I recommended it to my sister who has to be VERY careful about what she uses in her laundry & she determined Biz is super ecologically friendly. Nice when that happens. Yeah!

Sarah said...

Your pansies are beautiful. I had a few pop back up this spring but not many. The doily will be a great conversation piece at the table. Years ago I soaked tatted ornaments in sugar water. Never had any ants but they didn't age well.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I have a smaller version of that doily ... two in fact ... crocheted by one (or both) of my grandmothers. Good for you for restoring your's to glory!

MARCIE said...

I love that pansy doily! Isn't it amazing what our grandmothers could do? Nice clean up job too!

Barb said...

When my Grandmother died, She had a doily simular to that. That was one of the things I asked for. I will have to try to washing it in your suggested solution... Your turned out lovely!!!

dianne said...

i have your doily's fraternal twin - mine has variegated purple flowers and i love it - my mom used to starch her doilies - i remember the ruffled ones sitting on the kitchen table with juice glasses holding the ruffles up or down (depending on which way it needed to go) till the starch dried ... i still crochet doilies - hours and hours of cheap entertainment, lemmetellya

woolywoman said...

yup. the sugar holds the dirt and attracts critters.but it was all they had. best to store them unstarched.really pretty! thanks for sharing- reminds me of my grammies work.