Loose Ends: Creating Community and Closure

In the realm of creativity, there are few acts more heartwarming and inspirational than continuing the work of those who have gone before us. For crafters, every stitch, every brushstroke, every carefully chosen hue is a testament to a lifetime of love, dedication, and ingenuity. 

Yet, when a crafter’s life comes to an end, they often leave behind a multitude of unfinished projects—vibrant tapestries that still need to be woven, intricately designed quilts waiting for completion, and shawls yearning for their final stitches. It is here that the Loose Ends Project finds its purpose, a beautiful organization that unites crafters to carry on the work of their predecessors and bring their artistic visions to fruition. 

Founded by Jennifer Simonic and Masey Kaplan, the Loose Ends Project works as a matchmaker—connecting volunteer finishers to the family members of crafters who have died or who can no longer do handwork due to compromised health. The organization has now matched more than 1200 projects.

“Handmade items are gestures of love. The time, expense, and skill that go into making them are impossible to quantify. When you wear something made especially for you, it feels good — the recipient of a handmade gift is thoughtfully considered with each stitch. When a maker dies mid-project, this tangible, handmade expression of love could get lost, donated, or thrown out. Loose Ends volunteers’ goals are to finish these projects as intended and give them back to be used and cherished.”

Masey Kaplan

Our team member Aileen recently got the opportunity to finish a project for Loose Ends, and talks about her experience below.

“As soon as I heard about Loose Ends, I knew I wanted to sign up to be a finisher. Although I’ve crocheted since I was young, I only started knitting in 2021 when my grandmother-in-law began losing her memory. She has knit and crocheted all her life, and I wanted to preserve that part of her by learning the craft from her. The Loose Ends Project is such a unique and much-needed organization, and I can only imagine the positive impact it has had on so many families already.”

The project Aileen finished was this beautiful green afghan started by Sandy, whose sister, Donna, submitted it for finishing. Donna shares memories of her sister below.

“Sandy loved animals all her life. Always had cats, dogs, birds, goats. She enjoyed sports cars and driving fast. Owned corvettes and for a time a Mazda Miata, which she toured around with a group of Miata lovers.

She got married and raised two boys. The whole family was into softball, motorcycles and motocross, snowmobiling, camping, bowling. The one thing she wouldn’t do is hunt, as she couldn’t bear to see an animal die.

She worked in the office of her husband’s tile setting business for years, until they sold it and retired. They offered my then-husband a job setting tile, which was what brought me from Oregon to Washington, and closer to her.

We had so much fun spending time together going out to lunch and to the movies, to fairs and craft bazaars, including a front row seat to hear Ciscoe of “Gardening With Ciscoe”. OOH LA LA!

And, of course, she was a talented knitter and crocheter, creating so many beautiful pieces. She also loved flower gardening, spending hours soaking up the sun doing so. Her indoor plants always thrived as well.

I am thankful for the time we had together, and sorely miss her company. Create the memories together with loved ones while they are still here, and they will be a source of comfort when they’re gone.”

Completing these unfinished projects not only serves as a heartfelt tribute to the original crafters’ legacies but also provides much-needed solace to their grieving families. So, to all crafters and friends of crafters out there, we extend an invitation to join this noble cause, where the act of creation becomes a poignant reminder that love and creativity can span lifetimes, and that together, we can make sure that no loose end remains untied.

Learn more about Loose Ends or submit/sign up HERE.

Find out about other crafting charities to support HERE

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: