Piece for Shelter Pets


October is national Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and we are thrilled to have joined forces with an amazing team of quilt industry professionals in support of the Petfinder Foundation. We are all animal lovers and have come together to generate awareness for shelter dogs (and cats) in need of “furrever” homes.  We hope that you’ll join us in the Piece for Shelter Pets Blog Hop to learn more and see how you can help!

The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM), an international online only publication,  first partnered with the Petfinder Foundation to form the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team after Hurricane Sandy. The two organizations help animal shelters affected by disasters by sending Kennel Quilts for the displaced animals. As sewing essentials are needed for Kennel Quilts, we, in addition to Bernina USA, Island Batik Fabrics, Quilty Box, and Benartex Fabrics, have joined the TQPM Kennel Quilt effort to offer addition help to the Petfinder Foundation.

For the past 20 years, Petfinder has helped 25 million pets find their families through adoption. They wanted to use this moment to celebrate their incredible legacy with their shelter and rescue members while inspiring a new generation of pet lovers, just like you. They created a video and pledged to donate $200,000 to the Petfinder Foundation if the video reached 1 million views by October 24, 2016. Thanks to dedication and inspired help of the masses, they have already reached their goal! The donated funds will reward 20 shelter and rescue members with $10,000 grants, allowing them to keep doing the amazing work that they do!

GARY’S STORY (One of the reasons why we do what we do!)img_20160703_224055

Gary is the beloved rescue dog of Elena Gregotti, Aurifil’s CEO. He has been a part of her family for nearly 4 years. He’s a happy and charismatic dog with a great personality, however, before his days of chasing lizards in the Aurifil garden, he lived in Serbia, where he was un-loved and terribly abused.

Luckily for Gary, a family friend, originally from Serbia but now living in Italy, rescued him and brought him to Milano. She posted a photograph of Gary on Facebook asking for help in re-homing him. Elena’s husband saw the resemblance to her childhood dog Rudi, who was also a rescue dog. He had been abandoned on the highway when he was just a puppy and went to live at her family’s country house in Tuscany. Elena has very fond memories of growing up with Rudi. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.

Gary, enjoying a sunny day on the Dolomites
Gary, enjoying a sunny day on the Dolomites

Elena and her family fell in love with Gary, contacted their friend, and he joined their family on November 18, 2012. At first he was unhappy, timid, petrified of men and never played, but over the past four years he has settled in, learned to trust again and enjoys long evening walks around the city. He spends his days being swooned over by the Aurifil office family and enjoys long summer vacations in the Tuscan countryside.

Gary with Elena's son, Jacopo
Gary with Elena’s son, Jacopo

Aurifil‘s first specialty thread box, the Small Kennel Quilt Thread Kit, was launched last year. The cover features Pretty Girl, the TQPM Kennel Quilt “SpokesKitty” and HSPPR (The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region) adoptee, photographed on her Kennel Quilt during the 2013 Colorado fires.


Later this month, at International Quilt Market in Houston, we’ll introduce two new collections in partner with Island Batik, Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds. A portion of the sales of each will go to the Petfinder Foundation.



Bernina of America created a special edition Best Friends sewing machine this year featuring paw prints. They donated $30,000 to the Petfinder Foundation from the sales of the machine.


Island Batik is introducing two new collections, Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds, at International Quilt Market. A portion of sales will go to the Petfinder Foundation.

Quilty Box will offer special TQPM Kennel Quilt boxes including the fabric and thread needed to make two kennel quilts. The Petfinder Foundation will be the recipient of a portion of their sales.


Benartex will introduce a brand new fabric collection at International Quilt Market featuring Joey the Shop Dog. The line was designed by Joey’s rescue mom, Rose Ann Cook. 10% of sales for Joey’s fabrics will be donated to Petfinder Foundation.

Nan Baker of The Quilt Pattern Magazine, Purrfect Spots and the TPQM Small Kennel Quilt Team was kind enough to share some super sweet photos with us… we love that these kennel quilts are so well loved by all of these darling little fur babies!


To enter to win one of these fabulous prizes, click here. The giveaway is being offered  throughout the full blog hop and you’ll have the opportunity to enter via any of our the participating blogs. It will end at 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 25. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 26.

Don’t forget to visit all of the stops along the way for rescue stories, product info, and more!

10/5 – The Quilt Pattern Magazine/Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots
10/7 – Aurifil (You are HERE)
10/12 – Island Batik
10/14 – Quilty Box (Check Facebook & Instagram)
10/19 – Benartex
10/21 – Petfinder Foundation

We are animal lovers and have come together to support shelter animals and perhaps bring a little joy into their lives. Creating a Kennel Quilt is a way to join a larger effort to help our furry friends in times of need by doing what we love. We hope that you’ve been inspired to get involved. If you’d like to join the Small Kennel Quilt Team, please click here.

There are so many shelter animals that need a home.  This is a great time to check with your local shelter for your “furrever” friend or you can check out Petfinder.com. However if you can’t adopt at this time, there are numerous other ways to help and that will be shared on all our blogs. Please join us in this effort and remember… Adopt –don’t shop!


  1. I have a rescue pet, a little green parakeet named Stanley. He was brought into Florida Parrot Rescue after a woman found him under a bush. He was sick and had to be on antibiotics for ten days. I adopted him three years ago and he is happy living with his cage mate, Charlotte.

  2. We rescued our first dog from our local shelter as a young couple (a hundred years ago it seems). We went a few years without a dog, after he passed, because we both worked so much. But then I became sick. Incredibly sick. I had to quit work permanently. I sank into depression. My husband took me to the shelter to pick out my new companion at home while he was at work. A boxer. I became involved in Boxer Rescue after that and started fostering Boxers for the rescue group getting them ready for adoption. No dog should be left roaming the streets, in a kill shelter or in an inappropriate home. I love allll my furbabies do much. They give me purpose each day as does my quilting!

    1. My goodness — we salute you! It is amazing the healing power that animals can have. Thank you for being such a advocate for those pups who don’t always have their own voices.

  3. This is such a special cause. How timely, when a hurricane is causing such devastation. We have had many rescue pets over the years. We have a sweet kitty-boy, Buster, and Shadow, a part chow that had been the rescue dog of the previous owner of our house. We love them both.

  4. I am not shelter pet rescue parent, but I am a shelter pet rescue grandparent & aunt. My son & daughter both have adopted shelter dogs, & they are the sweetest pups! All 3 of them! It is so sad that there are so many pets that need homes. It’s wonderful that these companies are helping the cause!

    1. Being a shelter rescue pet grandparent and aunt is just as important 🙂 — my family all love my two rescues as if they were their own! Sometimes, it takes a village!!

  5. Both of my cats I rescued after they were abandoned by their owners. My kids have also adopted from shelters. I believe that by doing so, you save TWO lives- the one you adopted and the one who will have a space in the shelter!!!

    1. That is a wonderful way to look at it!! And often times, even three lives — the one you adopted, the one who will have space in the shelter and the adopter;). Yay for rescue parents!

  6. When my sweet little love-bug rescue Kitty died last summer (rescued as a kitten, he was a beloved family member for 19 years)… I was too sad to want another…
    But, then this summer I met the two adult cat rescues that my son took into his home!
    When the two adult cats began to have problems with each other, I opened my heart and my home to my new loving little friend! (She’s the one who had been the aggressor, but has responded to love, no stress, and undivided attention!)
    My new little love-bug, and quilty helper!

  7. Our dog is a pet rescue! She is so much a part of our family and won the lottery in terms of finding a family that spoil her to death!

  8. What a wonderful cause. I’ve had countless shelter dogs and cats over the years, currently we have 6 loving cats who make up our family now that our children have grown and gone. Love this!

    1. Thank you for being such a wonderful fur-parent over the years!! Your 6 cats are lucky to have you:)

  9. My husband and I were on our way to work, when we saw a small black puppy in the ditch on the side of our rural county road. He was thin from lack of food & covered in fleas, coaxing just brought on snarls & growls. My husband used his coat to grab him up & put him a box we happened to have in the truck. I took him to work with me, and home that afternoon. The kids called him Bert (after the sesame street character), he grew up to be a gentle & sweet pit bull mix. My kids are grown now, and Bert is no longer with us, bur we will never forget him & the story of our rescue!

    1. You saved a life that day and I have no doubt that Bert loved and cherished you for it for all of his days. What a stroke of luck that you happened upon him that day! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  10. Thank you.
    I have had a shelter dog and several cats over the years. Want another cat, soon!

  11. All our pets are rescues and I have worked with shelters for years. Love every minute of it and have checked out the small kennel quilt project. I am signing up and hope to have a sew in to help so many animals in great need. We currently have 1 rescue dog and 3 rescue cats…..and they get along fabulously. Actually, I feel sorry for the dog as the cats just love him to pieces and he just sits there and accepts all their loving. Thank you to all those who contribute and care for the homeless and abused animals in our world…..it’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking work.

    1. That is wonderful, Patti! Thank you so much for checking out the Small Kennel Quilt Project! They are always looking for new people to join the cause and I know you’ll love working with Nan:). If you need any further info, please don’t hesitate to be in touch! (erinataurifil@gmail.com) I have a wonderful picture in my head now of your pup surrounded by three loving kitties — just perfect!

  12. I have adopted shelter pets multiple times. My dog Phoebe is the most recent addition to my home.

  13. My first dog, Taylor, and my present dog, Hazel, were both rescues from North Shore Animal League. I love adopting dogs, and plan to keep doing it. Both dogs have been wonderful pets. Thanks for doing this hop, and sharing the info.

    1. I’m sure that Taylor and now Hazel absolutely adore you for it as well! Adopting is the best:). Thank you for all that you do!!

  14. I am not a pet shelter parent–I came to own both my awesome dogs by people whose dogs got pregnant unexpectedly. I do thoroughly enjoy both my dogs and give them the best of everything. They enrich my life beyond words!

    1. Those pups could just have easily ended up on the street, in a shelter, or somewhere else — you took them in and gave them a warm and loving home… in my book, you are still a rescue parent:). Dogs are the best!! (I love cats too, but dogs… special place in my heart!)

  15. How neat to see all the great work for shelters! Gary is a sweetie! I have adopted from shelters in the past, but more recently three dogs that were dumped out in the countryside have arrived at our farm and adopted us. We love them as much as if we had picked them instead of their picking us!

    1. It’s as though they were looking for you;). Thank you for sharing your story and how lucky that your pups found you!!

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss — it’s such a hard thing to lose a family member. I hope that it was a wonderful 14 years <3

  16. Over the course of 40+ years we have had many dogs all of whom were shelter rescues. Each of them has added special love and happiness to our family. Our latest is a Corgi Mix who was 1-1/2 when we got her and turned 10 in June. I can’t believe we’ve had her this long. She’s so smart and funny and best of all senses when my husband who is a diabetic is having low blood sugar since he doesn’t recognize the symptoms anymore. She has saved him more than once and won’t rest until his levels are up again.

    1. Aren’t animals amazing? I am in awe of what they are able to do — from being so intuitive to offering endless, unconditional love. It’s remarkable! Sounds like you have an amazing pup in your family <3

  17. I am a rescue dog mom…our most recent rescue is a little shitzu-pom mix that we got when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire were battling it out on the field for home run king honors. Being loyal Cubs fans, we had no choice but to name him Sammy Sosa!! He’s quite a charmer and when not laying on the charm, he can be found sleeping in his chair on the bed.

  18. Our Son & his wife have an AWESOME rescue dog! Bexley is a special guy…is a mix of Husky & ??? But he is beautiful & so good with their baby too! Very protective of the three of them. (& I am a proud doggie gma!!)

    1. I love his name too!! It’s incredible to see how wonderful pups can be with out wee ones too:). I have two rescues and they are amazing with my kiddos (3yo & 11mos) as well. Yay for being a proud doggie gma!

  19. I have had 3 rescued pets over the years, all of them Dachshunds. The first was Norman. The poor little guy was so traumatized by the time we got him, he didn’t go to the bathroom for almost 2 days. That first night he wouldn’t come out of his crate. By the second day he decided I was his human and rarely left my side. Norman lived to a grand old agree of almost 17 years and filled my days with joy. Shortly before Norman died, Cocoa joined our home. The poor thing had been chained up and shot at with a BBQ gun. Just thinking of it makes me furious. Cocoa was the sweetest tempered dog and loved everyone. Sadly, Cocoa passed away just 3 years after we got her. She died of cancer just a few months after I finished my cancer treatment. A few months later we brought Jake home. We have had Jake for almost 4 years and it has just been in the past year that we have seen his true personality come out. Jake was horribly abused and didn’t trust people at all. We had him for over a year before he would sit in my lap or allow my husband to pet him. But patience and love eventually won him over. Right now he is curled on my lap. He is a happy little guy and it has been a joy to watch him heal emotionally.

    1. Oh wow, Pam — These stories are amazing! You and your husband are so amazing for what you do and those pups are the luckiest in the world to have you:). <3

  20. I have loved two rescue dogs and one rescue cat in the past, and the cat who owns me now is from an abandoned litter a co-worker discovered on her deck. Moxie is a petite black cat. I wasn’t interested in getting another cat but was asked to “just hold her” for a minute. That was it; she came home with me. That was eight years ago, and she is a loveable imp.

    1. That’s always how it happens, right? Before we got our second dog, I insisted to my husband that I was just looking… that looking turned into rescue dog #2;). Thank goodness for these amazing animals — they sure do make life better!!

  21. We don’t have any pets because we travel so much to see family which is spread from one coast to the other coast. But our children have rescue dogs.

  22. All of our cat children have been rescue pets from the local shelter. A few years back we went to get a companion for our cat, and came home with two brothers. If we could, we would provide furever homes for more of them.

    1. It’s always so hard to leave any of them at the shelter — the impulse is to take them all home! Your cats are lucky to have you and we’re lucky that there are so many of us working to provide homes for all of these amazing animals:)

  23. Our daughter adopted our granddog from a service man stationed in Qatar. Whiskey travelled a great distance for his forever home, and we spoil him shamelessly. Our daughter also coaches a Girls on the Run team, and for their service project last Spring, they made dog beds, and rice filled socks for the local shelter. Two friends and I helped the girls sew and stuff the beds. The shelter was so happy to receive the items, and the girls learned much about caring for homeless animals. It was a marvelous experience.

    1. Wow Amy — that is a lucky pup! Whiskey certainly did have a long journey, but I’m betting he ended up exactly where he was meant to be 🙂 I love that your daughter’s team made dog beds for their service project!! A wonderful team indeed!!

  24. we have a rescue dog who we adore! he is so funny and smart and loud and very, very sweet.

  25. Out first cat we adopted from a shelter. We were sitting down to check out the cats and she just jumped onto our lap. We knew then she was the one. She blessed our lives for 19 years. We currently have 6 cats of which 5 we rescued when they were babies.

    1. It’s amazing when that connection is made — she must have seen you and just knew:). Thanks for being such an amazing rescue family!

  26. My last cat was from a shelter. He was found on the street as a kitten. Lovely affectionate pet.

  27. I was the mom of three cats that were rescued by the SPCA. And my next cat will also come from a shelter.

  28. All of our pets have been adopted from shelters! We only have one cat right now and miss all our previous furry family members. I’m sure there will be others in our future.

  29. We own a sweet Puppy “Charlie”. However he isn’t from a shelter. I think the shelter quilts are a great idea. Now to sew some and donate.

  30. I am so thrilled to see all of these quilting professionals coming together to help shelter animals. As a quilter & a retired rescuer I am thrilled. I have 6 cats & 2 dogs – all of them rescue.

  31. So happy to see you supporting such a needy cause – thank you so much. I have volunteered at an animal shelter for over a decade and have 4 rescue dogs of my own. Pets bring so much love into our lives.

  32. My DeeDee and Daramir( both westies) are rescues- but the truth is they rescued me! DeeDee was very sick little girl- used for breeding with regardless of her health. Well they tossed her and I snatched her up! She needed a wheelchair since her hind legs didn’t work – but oh her persona! Nothing stopped that beauty!!! She showed us how not to let “set backs” get in your way. Daramir continues to show how love and trust makes all the difference in life. Oh how blessed I am!

  33. We have 5 dogs and they are all rescues…some from the side of the road, or from people who didn’t want them, and one from a shelter. We have had rescues as pets for the past 30 years. We also have a large feral cat colony here (all are neutered) that we feed. Some of the tamer cats have become house cats and porch cats.

  34. Just two weeks ago we adopted a stray that was sitting in a ditch covered with fleas and dirty. She is the sweetest little dog. We’ve already had her in for a checkup, surgery for cysts, spayed and 3 teeth removed, she has touched our hearts!

  35. I adopted my dog, Snickerdoodle an Apricot Toy Poodle, from our local Humane Society’s Adoption Program. Snick along with over 100 more dogs were taken from a woman who had been running a puppy mill and hoarding dogs. Snickerdoodle had lived his whole life up to that point in a cage – not a crate or kennel, but a cage. The veterinarians who do the intake exams on the dogs estimated his age to be around six years old. He was having difficulty walking, looked like he had never been clipped, had cakes of mud and tangles all over his body. He was starving. When I got him home I bathed him and cut out all of the mats and basically had to shave him. He was so malnourished that I could basically see his whole skeleton. The long story short is that Snickerdoodle is right here in my studio beside me right now and he still loves to run and play like he would if he was still a puppy/young dog! He had his yearly check up this past week and we expect to have lots of years ahead together!

  36. I have a sweet, lovable little Morkie named Sophie that we rescued from a friend’s home who had a very dominant older dog. This dog would try to attack and bite Sophie and the owners knew they had to find a new home for her. It was pure coincidence that I met this woman and heard her story. Sophie joined us just a week later and we’ve loved her ever since! We’ve had her for over 3 years and she is an important part of our family.

  37. I’m not currently a pet owner but I was fostering for a local rescue group. We’re in process of moving to another state so will resume fostering once we get there.

  38. This is a very inspiring program. Our dog was from a shelter and we had the pleasure of her company for 7 years. All of our cats have been found as well.

  39. I have adopted many shelter pets over the years. They always seem to be the most loving family members we have. I came up with an idea a few years ago and went through my fabric stash. I created pads and blankets for the shelters to be able to keep in the pens and then sent home with their new adoptees. I made large ones and small ones. I brought them in to Pet Smart on adoption day so that many of the no kill shelters could have these for their fur babies. Many of them was just a simple serge around all four sides but making sure there are no loose threads. I have lots of extra batting too so they get a nice pad too.

  40. We rescued two very special cats from the rescue, they were so comforting after a long day. I also had a small sewing club with kids and we made quilts for the crates at our local shelter. Thanks for wonderful giveaway.

  41. My kids and I have resuced 3 pets now. They have brought great joy. I will have to do some charity work in making quilts for crates!

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