a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: The Domestic Agility Mom

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Domestic Agility Mom

SUMMARY: In which we learn why it's a bad idea for dogs to play tug of war on your bed on which your bed linens also reside. We then focus on our household trimming and ironing skills.

Tika loves to heave large fabricky things (OK, how do you turn "fabric" into an adjective anyway?) around. I gave up trying to get her to stop heaving my comforter around, and instead got her her very own huge dog-type throw that she does. Throw, that is. Every morning. Sometimes she and Boost play a little tug of war with it.

As dogs are not known for their fine grasp (so to speak) of fabric qualities, sometimes apparently they still accidentally confuse my flannel duvet cover with the big furry upholstered dog throw, as Taj MuttHall discovered the other morning after exiting the shower.

Taj MuttHall just bought these sheets a few months ago and is not going to throw them out. No. We are going to repair the rends. Which requires an emergency visit to the once-ubiquitous-but-now-nearly-extinct fabric store. We benefit from our vague cultural memory that, in this colossus of a warehouse store, we need to look for "Notions." Sometimes that's a great idea. (ha ha? That's your obscure Ken Kesey reference for the morning.)

Found Notions. Found iron-on fabric. Not nearly the selection TMH remembers from our youth, shopping in the cave'o'fabric near where the deer and the mastodons play. But bits of white in the multicolored package. No idea what TMH will ever do with navy blue, black, and deep burgundy iron on fabric, but that's what one gets.

Then one trims them to size, and rounds the corners per instructions. Kitchen shears won't do this. Fortunately I still have my old fabric shears from when--in our pre-TMH days--we occasionally wanted to shear fabric. Now they're in our desk drawer for emergency shearing of printer paper or the occasional carpet snag resulting from dog teeth operating in the incorrect place.

The other handy tool for using iron-on fabric is an actual iron. Remember irons? Mine is practically new because I've only used it twice since I got it when I first moved out on my own a couple of years ago. Or was it 1977? I lose track of these details1.

The instructions also say WARNING! Wash fabric before applying patches! But if you wash it, you know that the frayed edges will fray beyond your wildest nightmares (if you have nightmares about fraying fabric). So what are a few dog hairs among iron-on friends? Now you have to line up the edges to prepare for ironage. This is not so easy as one might suppose, with the stretchable fabric having been stretched a bit during its ordeal. Dang stripes--how can all of them line up except one?

Line up the patches right next to each other so that there are no gaps at all. (You had to use several pieces because the fabric wasn't large enough to do in one full sheet. Don't you like it how I know what you are doing and why?) Now, with the iron plenty preheated to Cotton setting, even though you believe that the sheets aren't exactly completely cotton, you're just following directions, you press for 30 seconds, moving the iron back and forth per instructions.

Learning opportunity #1: when you move the iron back and forth, the tightly aligned patches don't apparently stay that way.
Learning opportunity #2: What's that brown, iron-shaped patch of color that just appeared on my sheet? It'll wash out, won't it?
Won't it?

1(I also lose track of whether we're writing in the first person singular about me the person or third person singular, whether we at TMH are actually singular or plural, whether you're addressing your audience directly, or whether one is referring in general to some third-person entity not directly emotionally involved.)


  1. Augh - Leaving us hanging to find out the answer? I shall await with baited breath the conclusion to this sheet saga.

    About your practically new iron: Isn't the great thing about walking around in clothes that are covered in dog hair the fact that no one can see any wrinkles that may lie hidden underneath. ;-)

  2. Well, the photos is the back side of the sheet. So if you're looking at the front side, you'll see the repair lines before you'll see the teensiest brown tinge. And maybe there's not even very much of that. It might go away entirely after a couple of ironings.