Help For Grieving Families With Unfinished Needlework Projects

How many of us have browsed a thrift store or an estate sale, and been sad to find an unfinished quilt or needlework project? Some were abandoned when the maker was unable to continue due to illness or disability. Some were never finished before the death of the maker. Many times families have no way to complete those projects themselves or find someone who can, and so they end up in a donation bin somewhere.

A new organization Loose Ends is helping connect people who do needlework of all kinds with uncompleted projects that families would like to see finished. According to the organizations website “any fiber arts handwork is eligible to be finished – knit, crochet, sewing, quilting, mending, rug-making Tunisian crochet, embroidery, cross-stitch, needlepoint, weaving, etc.” The project must be free of mold, moths or moth eggs, and the smell of mothballs. A project that smells of smoke may be accepted if there is a volunteer who is OK with the odor. There are some restrictions on the type of quilt projects that can be accepted at this time.

Loose Ends was begun by knitters and non-profit entrepreneurs Masey Kaplan (Portland, ME) and Jennifer Simonic (Seattle, WA) and has now expanded to 11,000 volunteers across the US and in 44 other countries through word of mouth. “Crafters tend to be a generous lot, often creating items for hospitals, shelters, and schools. Loose Ends is simply another place for crafters to demonstrate selfless kindness to a stranger,” says Jen Simonic, Loose Ends Co-Founder.

“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,” says Masey Kaplan, Loose Ends Co-Founder.

If you are interested in volunteering as a finisher for quilts or any other type of needlework, you can sign up online.

If you have an unfinished inherited project that you are unable to complete yourself, you may submit a project for finishing.