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Ironing wrinkles out of fleece fabric

Ironing wrinkles out of fleece fabric by Elizabeth RuffingI usually avoid buying any fleece that has creases or wrinkles, because those are difficult to remove, if they can be removed. Sometimes I mail order fleece, and, occasionally, it arrives creased, whether from being in storage, or being in box. I thought I would have to give these two yards of dark orange fleece to the cats, because it was so wrinkled.

I looked online for some help, but the suggestions I found didn’t work so well. Thinking I had nothing to lose by experimenting, I worked on the fleece with a higher temperature, and steam. Both can melt fleece, which is synthetic, and so, if anyone tries this, be sure to test first for the right temperature on a scrap you don’t need. This is pre-washed and air-dried, anti-pill fleece. I would suggest pre-washing the fleece to remove any sizing or chemicals. I wanted the fabric to be damp, not wet. I used an atomizer filled with water to dampen the surface. I let the water sink in. I rubbed the water with my hand into the surface, and smoothed the fabric as much as I could.

Ironing wrinkles out of fleece fabric by Elizabeth RuffingIt is necessary to use a press cloth to iron fleece. Direct contact from the iron will leave marks, or melt the fleece. I used a cotton washcloth, the one that came with my iron-cleaning kit. It is fairly thin. I put the nubbiest side facing the fleece and smoothed the washcloth over the fabric.

I set my iron on the cotton setting with heavy steam, and pressed on top of the washcloth, being careful to avoid directly touching the iron to the fleece. Be sure to test this out first, because too much heat can leave you with a melted area.

Ironing wrinkles out of fleece fabric by Elizabeth RuffingRemoving the wrinkles takes patience. I lifted the washcloth several times over each area, in between pressing, to rub the surface of the fleece in different directions, to coax the creases out. You can use the washcloth to rub the surface too. Whether you use your hand, or the washcloth to work on the surface, be careful. The steam combined with the damp fabric can make the area very hot.

Ironing wrinkles out of fleece fabric by Elizabeth RuffingThe whole process took a while, but with perseverance, almost all of the wrinkles disappeared. I was very glad this worked, because I have several fabrics I thought I would be unable to use. I haven’t yet tried this on the sharp creases that I find sometimes at the end of a bolt of fleece. I suspect those are permanent. And I have only tried this on the anti-pill fleece so far. The brushed fleece may flatten a little more, but I’ve had success pressing brushed fleece (the kind with the smoother surface) at lower temperatures before. I would be sure to test a piece first, if you plan to try it.

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Blue Hug Me Kitten stuffed animal kitten

Light blue fleece Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve had three blue fleece kittens, waiting for me to finish the details on them, and I almost have all three ready. This is the first, with a red heart.

Light blue fleece Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been playing with my pattern, experimenting with the size, making them just a little taller. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Light blue fleece Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingBertie’s cold is still bad. She looks weepy and sounds snuffly. I hope she feels better soon.

Yesterday, I came across another kitten, orange and white, from the same general location where I picked up our tabby girls. Then today, I found another, the tabby pictured below, in the same spot. She has a serious tail injury. She was circling me, within close range, and meowing at me. She looked like she wanted me to help her, but I couldn’t get my hands on her. I’m hoping she can be trapped, and taken to the vet, but I don’t want to try to catch her myself. I have no safe place to hold her, and I could end up with any number of random cats there, since there are so many, with no clinic appointments for them. The tabby kitten may have to be quarantined if it looks like the injury is the result of a bite wound, as a precaution against rabies. I hope both kittens can be helped.

Tabby kitten living in a feral colony, photo by Elizabeth RuffingI feel so terrible every time I visit that location, because there are always more cats or kittens there, living under crummy conditions. Some were TNR’d (trapped, neutered, vaccinated, and returned), last spring, summer, and early fall, but the clinics are infrequent, and there are so many cats everywhere. Please have your pets spayed and neutered, and please spay/neuter/vaccinate any community cats were you live, or ask a rescue to step in to do it. Pet overpopulation and abandonment are really human problems, which is sad and unfair for the animals and the people who care about them.

It’s hard too, seeing cats and kittens out there who all bear a family resemblance to your own pets, in our case, Bertie and Phoebe. This kitten has Phoebe’s face. I still feel so unhappy when I think about their siblings and other relatives that had to stay. I feel sad I couldn’t take their sister, and I worry about how she is doing. I think about that a lot, wondering how many more litters of kittens there have been, and I hope they are okay, especially with the cold, wet weather.

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A pink bug and a blue bug, Hug Me Bug stuffed animal toys

Pink fleece Hug Me Bug, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingMerry day after Christmas! 🙂 Hope you all had a great weekend. I’m back to making Hug Me Bugs stuffed animal toys today. I just finished this pink one and this blue one. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Cobalt fleece Hug Me Bug, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingWe took Bertie to the vet today for an antibiotic injection, to help with the congestion she has. She was having some trouble with breathing. Our usual vet was on vacation, and the vet on duty was very worried about trying to examine her. Since the kittens are still overcoming their feral beginnings, vet visits are difficult. Bertie loves to be petted here, but she doesn’t understand strangers touching her. The vet and the tech were both very brave, and managed to give her an injection. No one got hurt either, which was a relief for everyone.

Hopefully she will bounce back quickly now that she has some medicine to help. I hope we get lucky and no more kitties catch the same thing.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah

Phoebe and Bertie stare at their first Christmas tree, photo by Elizabeth RuffingMerry Christmas and happy Hanukkah! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. Phoebe and Bertie are having their first Christmas, and this is their first tree. We just brought it into the house today. They were impressed, but Phoebe thought it smelled weird at first.

Phoebe and Bertie stare at their first Christmas tree, photo by Elizabeth RuffingWe found some shatter-resistant ornaments at Michael’s. Phoebe has been pulling them, one at a time, off the tree, chasing them around on the carpet, and rolling with them in the hall. Bertie is hanging out right next to the tree, sniffing it, and occasionally tasting it. She might have a little cold this week, which may be why she is doing more hanging out than chasing.

Phoebe swats a Christmas ornament, photo by Elizabeth RuffingDuring the night, I am sure they will be swatting at the decorations. This is Josephine’s first Christmas tree too. She hasn’t been as interested as the kittens, even though she is almost a kitten herself. She will likely join in after dark. We have two fat bungee cords strapped around the table to keep that tree in place. We’ll see if that works!

Bertie stands next to her first Christmas tree, photo by Elizabeth RuffingIn addition to helping me decorate the tree, Bertie helped my mom address cards this year. There is still baking to do. Bertie probably won’t be so interested in that part, but she does like to try to swipe people food, no surprise since Phoebe and Bertie came from a restaurant.

Bertie helps mom write Christmas cards, photo by Elizabeth RuffingWe did all our errands so we can stick close to home this weekend, and avoid all the last-minute shoppers. I will probably do some sewing, watch movies, and relax. This Hug Me Toad is one of the many handmade art toys I made and sent out to new homes for the holidays. It is fun to think of my toys surprising people and making them smile. I hope you all have a very happy week! I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Green Hug Me Toad, sitting in a tree, original sock doll art toy by Elizabeth Ruffing