A complete stranger finishes a project for a Georgia woman

Some projects take weeks, others take months, and some take 25 years.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 9:47 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Some projects take weeks, others take months, and some take 25 years.

“She was working at Belk and they would give her bags of these polyester scraps that she would braid together,” said Kimberly Henshaw, Nola Henshaw’s granddaughter. “I think that that was one of her ways of showing she cared or loved.”

Kimberly Henshaw’s grandmother Nola died when Kimberly was 12 and left behind an unfinished rug. A total stranger in Iowa received the unfinished piece.

“If I had a project someone I was close to wasn’t able to finish. I know how much it would mean to me,” said “finisher” Leilani McDonald.

She thoughtfully took the time to finish the rug while braiding in Kimberly’s son’s baby blanket.

“I estimate that I probably put 60 or 70 hours of work into it,” said Leilani.

Once the rug was finished, it was sent back to Kimberly.

“Four generations touching it. It is sitting in our house, it is displayed, we wanted it out for our family. I plan to tell the story to my son and give it to him when he is older,” said Kimberly.

This is how the Loose Ends Project works. A family is left with a project when a person they love dies, and a stranger somewhere in the world, signs up to be a “finisher” to tie up the loose ends.

Masey Kaplan and Jen Simonic came up with the idea for the Loose Ends Project.

“With so many people fighting each other for all kinds of reasons. It felt like this is a way,” said Masey, “of creating connections between people when there have been so many riffs.”

Fiber arts projects can be submitted, projects that require, sewing, knitting, and cross-stitching. Masey and Jen will look over submissions and try and match the family with a finisher, hopefully, they are close enough for the two to meet in person.

“I marvel at the capacity for love that all these people have for people they don’t even know,” said Jen.

This is how Kimberly and Leilani met, how they matched, how a stranger from Iowa, completed a Georgia woman’s project, decades in the making.