Pay It Forward – New Freebie & Contest!

Today, I’ve very excited to share a special project we’ve been scheming up that’s very near and dear to my heart. We’re calling it a Pay It Forward Freebie, and it’s all about using your craft to do a little good for our local animals in need.

Let’s get to the embroidery goodness first… this project  comes with a shiny new freebie (through 8/28/11), all about supporting rescue animals.

Click on the image to go to the freebie!

This design is available for free from now through Aug. 28, 2011. Now, I know giving you free designs is nothing new, but we hope with this one, us giving something free to you will inspire you to give to someone else.

Specifically, little furred, striped, spotted or scaled someone elses. Because they could really use a little help.

Before I explain the full contest, let me explain a little of the back story.

This idea was inspired by a lot of things, but the one that certainly inspired me the most is that little wet furball pictured up there. That was my little dog Keefer, and he passed away two years ago. Keefer was a lot of things. He was a neurotic dog, a food-lover, a hater of bubbles (long story), a snorer, a crazy furball and a totally lovable fuzzbutt. He was also a rescue.

Since he’s passed, I have not yet found the space in my life for another dog, but I still love the idea of getting involved with local animals, and seeing what I can do to help find them happy homes until the day I can take one home myself.

So, that’s what I figure I would try and do. Armed with our new rescue design, I stitched up a couple of cute little bandanas…

…grabbed my camera, and headed to my local shelter.

I know some of you who saw my sneak peek on facebook last week, and in your comments, were trying to  guess what this project was about. I had to laugh when a couple of people asked if I was giving away the dog. You want him? Ladies and gents, this adorable little dog can be all yours.

Meet Sport.

Sport is Adopted!

He is a total and utter clown, and was seriously a joy to photograph.

Sport is Adopted!

I mean, really, that tongue? Too cute.

Sport is a 10-month-old hound mix puppy, and he’s currently available to take home and smile like that at you all the time.

By the way, you can click on any dog’s name or photo to go to their profile page on the Humane Society’s website for more information about adopting. These are all local Minnesota dogs, so you’d probably want to at least be near our area if you want to come visit.

Sport is Adopted!

Sport looked extra jaunty in his little embroidered rescue bandanna, and he knew it too.

However, not all dogs were so sure of their camera ready faces at first. This little sweetheart is Emmy, and she’s a little shy.

Emmy is Adopted!

I assured her she was a totally gorgeous dog, and she warmed up a bit.

Emmy is Adopted!

Emmy is a 3 year old Husky Cattle Dog Mix, and she just had puppies, so like anyone she’s feeling a little self conscious about her figure. But she was one of the cuddliest and most gentle dogs I saw.

Emmy is Adopted!

She really is gorgeous, isn’t she? I have such a soft spot for Husky type dogs, and she really stole my heart. It was hard to get a photo of her sometimes because she kept coming up for a cuddle.

Lydia is Adopted!!

Speaking of cuddly, that little one you saw up top is Lydia, a three month old Hound Boxer mix.

Lydia is Adopted!!

Lydia was a quiet but happy puppy, who was perfectly content to sit in someones arms and just be cuddled.  She has a darling little face and I can just tell she’s going to grow up to be a beauty.

Lady is Adopted!

This little gal sitting so patiently for her bandana is Lady. Lady is a very very shy little dog, but a very very sweet one. Lady is looking for a very quiet, low stress home, but seriously, she has the best puppy eyes I’ve ever seen.

Lady is Adopted!

I mean seriously, how could you say no to those eyes?

Lady is Adopted!

Though she looks a little grey, Lady is just a three year old terrier mix. Hey, we all know getting a little grey doesn’t mean anything. She’s just more cultured. She’s also a very well behaved dog, but will need a little extra love to come out of her shell.

Pete is Adopted!

Shyness is totally not an issue with this dog. This big black ball of joy is Pete, and he has a truly excellent smile.

Pete is Adopted!

See? Isn’t that a great smile?

Pete is a very energetic three year old Lab Retriever mix, and while he was quite bounding and playful most of the time, he was also quite happy to settle down and sit still for photos as long as someone was scratching his ears.

Pete is Adopted!

Pete would probably love a home where his ears get scratched all the time.  C’mon, look at those ears. I promise they’re as fuzzy and soft as they look! Pete also was a big fan of trying to lick my camera. Maybe he just liked the way he looked in the lens.

OK, so I know a lot of you aren’t local, or maybe just not quite ready to be able to take care of a new addition to the family, whether it be dog, cat or bunny. Or maybe you already have a rescue animal in your home that you love and adore. You don’t need to take home a furball to help them out. You can help out local animals anywhere you are.

Here’s where the neat contest part comes in!

From now until Aug 28, (the same time the freebie is available) download this design in machine embroidery and/or hand embroidery formats, and use it to do some good in your local rescue community! Then all you need to do is submit a photo of how you used the design to show a little puppy love (or kitty, bunny, rat, or whatever) and you’ll automatically be entered to win a $50 gift certificate from Urban Threads!

Not sure what kinds of things you can do? Here are a couple of ideas!

  • Have your own rescue animal? Make ’em a toy, a bandanna, or even a hoodie with the design, and show that you’re supporting your own rescue animal with a little love!
  • Stitch or print it on a tee to show your support for rescue animals.
  • Stitch it on some goods and sell them to raise money for your local shelter!
  • Make some goods for your local shelter volunteers to show you appreciate their work. Shirts, buttons, bandanas, hats…
  • Make a care package of goods that shelters are always in need of… leashes, toys, blankets, food, add the design to them or print it on a tag and donate your gift package to a grateful local organization.
  • Donate your skills! Do what I did and make some cute bandannas, go take pretty photos of your local adoptable animals, and give the photos to the shelter. Maybe those cute photos will help find someone a home!
  • Make some goods for your shelter that they can sell at their own fundraising events. Shirts, keychains, anything! If you’re extra crafty with a machine you can probably even personalize it with the organization’s name.
  • Those are just a few of the many things you can do with the design! Just remember though, the one thing you may not do is actually sell or trade the digital file. If someone wants to download it, please point them here!

Once you’ve done your good deed, just upload your photo to the UrbanThreads flickr pool and tag it rescue, or e-mail it in to A winner will be chosen at random from all the people who have submitted photos. Together, we’ll all get a personal reward for our good deeds, and one lucky crafter will get a big $50 gift certificate reward for their good deeds.  Everybody wins!

So get crafting for a good cause, Urban Threadsters — your deadline to enter is Aug 28. Together we can do a little good in the world!

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51 Responses to “Pay It Forward – New Freebie & Contest!”

  1. 1
    Karen Farley says:


    What a good person you are!!!! I LOVE animals and have 6 English Bulldogs who are my kids. If I could I would rescue every needy canine that I see. They love us no matter what and are always there for us. That says a lot about them – today people could care less. Hope you find another child of your own. Thanks for the neat freebie. Take care.

  2. 2
    Karen says:

    Awesome contest! I have to say, I love Sport–what a silly smile he has!

  3. 3
    Pat says:

    Great idea! I work with “Husky Savers” in Rochester NY and “Going to the Dogs” rescue in Perry NY. The pups are going to look so cute in their neckerchiefs. Must download and get ready for the next meet the dogs event. Hopefully, I’ll remember my camera.

  4. 4
    LEW says:

    So glad to see many have been adopted already. I have had many “adoptees”. Some I planned and other just adopted me! Great idea to assist the local shelters. Thanks for the freebie to help the cause.

  5. 5
    Lisa says:

    What a wonderful idea! My mother and I doing a fundraising event in September for the Beagles of New England States. This comes at a perfect time for me to whip up some items to donate! Thank you!

  6. 6
    Dena says:

    I work with many rescues and I ADORE this freebie and idea. Better get my creative juices flowing…

  7. 7
    Nina says:

    Thank you!

  8. 8
    Linda Grostefon says:

    I love this design and have already stitched it out on a doggie bandana. I have 6 cats rescued from my neighborhood and was thinking the kitties would like this design stitched on little fleece blankets just big enough to lay on!

  9. 9
    MaryM says:

    =D what a wonderful idea! Everyone in my immediate family has at least one rescued pet. /rubs hand together/ THRY SHALL ALL HAVE NEW BANDANAS! /barricades self in embroidery room/

    I’ll DEFINITELY be entering ^_^

  10. 10

    I have to say, I was so moved by this idea that I actually cried! Thanks for the idea and bless you for being such a thoughtful, heartwarming, generous and lovable human being!

  11. 11
    Deb Balzer says:

    Thank you so very much! Wonderful work.

  12. 12
    Alex says:

    Thanks, it´s a very good idea. I have 3 dogs and two of them I found them in very bad condition in the streets. We don´t have a rescue center here in SLP Mex. but we do have an organization where we try to help all kinds of animals, this design will sure help us get some money for this dogs.

  13. 13
    Christiane says:

    Wish I was in MN!!! I Fell in love with Pete… Not Sure what I’m going to do with the design but I’m sure I’ll find something to support the Local pet shelter!!! Thank you for being the Way you are!!!

  14. 14
    Lee says:

    I just saw your wonderful project and read the accompaning story. I was sobbing while reading it, because of my own rescue that died last year. I had her for 10 years and she was my best friend. Hopefully, the time will arrive when I feel like I can again do another rescue. Keep up the wonderful work.

  15. 15
    Treefrog says:

    That’s a great idea. I hope Pete finds a loving home. He sounds like my last 2 dogs (although I think they adopted me rather than the other way around)

  16. 16
    Ang says:


  17. 17
    rango says:

    great idea – love the design and will probably make something for our Humane Society in my town – I feel I have rescued our little Sadie she is a cockapoo (black) and when I saw her face looking up from a cage – (water, food bowls, bed and toys) all in that little space I had a feeling I had to rescue that poor little thing – so I dealt with the people who were trying to get rid of her so to speak – and I had them deliver her to me for a fee ($100) so I glady paid it to them to get her away from what I felt was not a good home – she was 6 months old and scared to death of men – she is still a bit skittish but a lot happier (and no cage) she is the boss and I have to remind her there is another friend (Sherri – Sheltie) and a cat (Rango – Himalayan) who thinks he is a dog – and they need the attention as well but it doesn’t sway her – but I love them all – and she is such a baby – cuddly etc –

  18. 18
    Maia says:

    Thank you so much for this freebie.I live and work at an animal rescue centre here is Southern Spain.Sure I can use this design.Will see what I can come up with.Please take a moment to look at our website to see what we are trying to achieve here.Thank you.

  19. 19
    Avis says:

    This is a delightful opportunity! Thanks for the great design!
    We have 4 rescued Bichon Frise pups. Like most rescues the 3 boys have issues, but not nearly as profound as our special needs girl – she has epilepsy that is not well controlled with medications.
    We walk our little pack daily and they will soon have bandanas with the Urban Threads Rescue design, reminding our neighbors to adopt rescued dogs.

  20. 20
    Tari Martin says:

    I’m in Michigan but I have a daughter in St. Louis, MO. St. Louis is like the capitol of animal cruelty that keeps rescue lovers very busy and very tired (my daughter, Lori, is one of many) I love this idea, you are very kind! I am going to make some neck ties (bandanas) to help fancy up some of her lovely babies so they may be adopted. God Bless and Thank You in advance!

  21. 21

    The fantastic part I see in this effort is that the word (and the design) is getting to the whole world!
    I can see loading up on blank bandanas at Hobby Lobby, Joanns, etc. to embroider for animal organizations. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  22. 22
    marie says:

    We have had 2 dogs, both rescues. They are the best. Thanks for the great freebie and reminder to help animals in need.

  23. 23
    Jan says:

    Thank you so much for this design. I have purchased so much from the site and everything is extremely well digitized.

    I have 2 Wheaten terriers and I am involved with the Wheaten Rescue organization based in Kansas City. I have helped with the transport of several dogs from the rescue site to their furever homes. This is a wonderful idea and I will stitch a few bandannas to send them as well as for a couple of friends with rescue dogs.

  24. 24
    Babs says:

    We have 3 cats all gotten from rescue agencies. None of them would dream of wearinga bandana but blankets made of minky are always welcome.
    How big a piece of fabric do you use for the bandana?

    • Niamh says:

      Well, I made one more sized to big dogs when I went, since I had no idea what dogs I would see there. I used just shy of a yard on a big dog, little dogs could have used much less. I hope that helps!

  25. 25
    Lisa Powell says:

    My husband and I have 5 rescued kids: a pitbull, black lab mix, and 3 cats. Our dogs will definitely be sporting bandanas with the freebie design on their next walk! I also volunteer with a local cat rescue and we have over 200 homeless kitties with more arriving every day:( We are having a fundraiser a week from today, so the timing is perfect for me to embroider all the things i can get my hands on with the design! Thank you so much!!

  26. 26
    Carol says:

    What a wonderful freebie. I have three pugs, two of them from a local rescue. Currently they sell some of my crafts on the table they set up at various events thoughout the year. The profit goes to them to support the rescue. This will be a great addition stitched on bandanas for the dogs they have looking for homes, and on shirts for the various volunteers. Thank you.

  27. 27
    Sandra Knight says:

    This is a wonderful design. I can’t wait to use it, but where do I click to download it? I work with various rescues in my area, but at the present I am working with the McComb Animal Shelter for an adoption event in two weeks at the local Lowe’s Store. The McComb Animal Shelter is a high kill shelter and for many years has not allowed any volunteers to assist with trying to place the animals. After several turns of events (too much to go into now)they are finally allowing volunteers to help with placing the animals. So far, we have been able to avoid the last two scheduled euthanizations by getting the animals placed who were on the list. This event at Lowe’s is the very first time we have been allowed to take animals to a location to be adopted. We hope this is a successful event. One of the volunteers has been hired at the shelter as a worker as well as another new employee (there are only two) and we are all working very hard to place the animals. If anyone is interested, please check out the shelter on Facebook. The City doesn’t have the money for unexpected illnesses in the shelter, so one of the volunteers has started a “Charlie’s Angels Fund” in honor/memory of her little dachshund that is missing. This fund is accepting donations to be able to have the animals treated by local veterinarians. If any of you have time, could you please go to Facebook and “Like” Charlie’s Angels Fund for us. We want this to be able to show the elected officials so they can see that animals are important in life and not just something to throw away and kill. I hope I can get several of these bandanas stitched for the animals to wear at the adoption event as well as possibly embroidering some shirts for the volunteers. Thank you again for the design.

  28. 28
    Sandra Knight says:

    Oops, I forgot the most important part. If I am able to get the design stitched and a photo sent in, and if I happen to be picked the $50.00 will be placed in the fund for medical treatment for the animals, the “Charlie’s Angels Fund”.

    • Niamh says:

      Remember it’s not a cash prize, but a $50 gift certificate… but you could use it to buy other designs that could then further create more things to fundraise! Sorry for the confusion.

  29. 29
    Sandra Knight says:

    Oops again. My mistake. That is what I get for hurriedly reading my e-mails and checking Facebook.

  30. 30
    Denise says:

    Thanks for your generosity. We have 2 rescues in our hours & we couldn’t live without the. My daughter works with a couple of Pit Bull rescue groups & has helped place dozens of these dogs. I can see a quilt in my future-to be auctioned off & donated for a local rescue.

  31. 31
    marge says:

    Our heart goes out to the poor pets that are thrown away, so to speak.
    We have a Jack Russel (DeeDee) that was 10 yrs old when we adopted her, 4 yrs later she runs our house…. That’s for doing what you do….

  32. 32

    We lost our dog, Indy, 11 yrs ago and never got another. He was such a good dog (husky/shepherd mix but looked husky) and we so enjoyed him. Indy lived to be 18 yrs old and I still miss him dearly.

    I think I’ll make a couple of these (maybe pink for girls and blue for boys) and see if our small humane society would like some to give to people when they adopt a pup. Maybe even do small ones or a toy for kitties. They need love too 🙂

  33. 33
    Jaci says:

    We have recently adopted a wonderful poodle from our local shelter. He is still getting over his abandonment issues. They guessed his age at 1 1/2 years and he has very bad knees which may eventually require surgery. He was abandoned near a very busy 4 lane road and could have been hit by a car or eaten by a coyote! We love him and will never willingly give him up. He was our furry kid from the moment we saw him in the shelter kennel. I will never understand why people cannot humanely turn their unwanted pets into shelters as a minimum. They trust that we will do at least that.
    JoJo now has a forever home with us.
    I will send pictures as soon as I get his new bandana made.

  34. 34
    Joanne says:

    Bless you. I have always had rescue dogs. My latest I picked out just last year. They are so special. I have always tried to help my local shelters, this is so fantastic, I will definitely use it. Can’t take a picture right now though, camera is broken, have a list of other things ahead of it. But still thank you!!!!

  35. 35
    sandy says:

    Thanks for the freebie! I have 5 dogs, and a cat…wish I could give all the animals a home! My heart melts whenever I see these sweet dogs that need homes. Going to make some bandanas with the embroidery on them, maybe take to our local shelter.

  36. 36
    marilyn auman says:

    This came at the perfect time. I just got involved with making items for animal rescue/shelters/causes fund raisers and this will work perfectly with some of the items I have planned. When this popped up in my email I had a “God” moment. You know one of those mopments when you realize you have found something you were really meant to do and the universe affirms it wholeheartedly. THANK YOU

  37. 37
    Deborah says:

    Fantastic design and perfect timing! Thank you so much. I have been collecting donations from artists for a Greyhound Rescue Auction and working on some unique mosaic & fused glass ideas to donate myself. I am going to use your design in a mosaic, I saw it in my head the moment the pattern came up and it is perfect! I love it.
    Animal rescue is such an important issue, we need to get the word out any way we can that there are so many wonderful fur babies out there waiting for a good home. If you can’t adopt for some reason, foster parents are also needed and can be a very rewarding way to help the animal rescue cause.
    As artists we are in a unique position to help spread the word about this important cause, thank you for giving us a greyt design to use to get the word out. YOU ROCK!

  38. 38
    nancy says:


  39. 39
    InYourBones says:

    this is wonderful!

    sew, i have been saving my scraps for a VERY long time for dog beds, you see i lost my dog and i, like you, i am not ready to have a dog yet(it’s been a year). with every sewing project that i lovingly made i saved the fabric, not knowing when i would get the courage to sew them up(i miss my dogs very much). until i read the contest and well, i knew i had to get sewing…..not to win you see, i think it was Lacy (my dog) that was telling me to get sewing, to start healing. now with every one i make i am giving them to the local Humane Society of Lake County Thrift Shop. i have made one so far. there are more to make and will continue to make and donate the dog beds to the thrift shops so they can sell them to continue to save the homeless…
    it would be wonderful for a cat paw design too.

    thank you ever so for this embroidery design.!/media/set/?set=a.10150282687829448.352516.307349399447

  40. 40
    Charlene says:

    The school district I work at is doing “Pay in forward” for their character theme this year. Any ideas on how to use this design for this cause?

  41. 41
    Sharon Kirby says:

    Thanks for this. I wish that I had found it sooner as I was just at the Keeshond Rescue picnic here in Ontario, Canada on the weekend. I will surely make neckerchiefs for the all the pups for next time and to put on some t-shirts, etc. I have several friends also involved in the Greyhound rescue, so I can even personalize by adding the specific breed if desired. Thanks again and bless you. I will try to forward a photo of my own Keeshond (not a rescue, but the last one was).

  42. 42
    Joan Greenhalgh says:

    Thank you for an adorable design. I currently have two “rescues”. However there were nine (9) before them. This is a great idea and I have passed this site/blog onto others.

  43. 43
    Rosalyn says:

    It took me awhile to get this all organized but I am collaborating with a rescue group in northern Minnesota – namely Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue -to raise monies from Sept. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2011. You can read all about it at Please share word with any people you know who have rescue dogs or believe in the good that rescue organizations provide.

  44. 44
    Nancy Erskine says:

    My husband and I have had MANY rescued Collies and Shelties in our married (40 yrs soon!!) lives. We love them all and KNOW that we could NEVER be foster parents as none of the dogs would EVER be available for adoption. We’d keep them ALL!

    I”ll have to try and figure out how to make the bandanas and maybe even tees and donate them to both rescues to help them out or make up a basket for a raffle (they both have those) and see how it goes.

    Thank you!

  45. 45

    Hi, please come like our Facebook fan page on “My dog is family”. We really would like you to be a part of this with us. We love our dogs as memeber of the family here!

  46. 46
    Diana Rose says:

    We have always have had rescued dogs. We are now helping with the Scottish Terrier Rescue of Tampa Bay. I’m a little late in seeing this blog but still plan to embroidered these out to give away with each Scottie that gets his/her furever home. We recently fostered a little guy that was a “special needs” scottie but he stole out hearts and now is our furever child. Thank You for this design!!!

  47. 47
    Kathryn says:

    Do you have any good embroidery designs of wheaten terriers been looking for ever

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