DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a straw carry-all. The straw surrounding the handles has split such that it no longer encases the handle. Is there anyone locally, or even within the state of Maine, who can do repairs on straw bags? — No Name via email
ANSWER: Sun Spots is not sure if someone will be willing, but she has two caners in her Rolodex whose skills might be transferable to your bag:
* Pam Lanyon, Turner, 225-3174, CaningbyPam@gmail.com
* Shadagee Snowshoe Relacing, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Georgia Tolman, New Sharon, 578-0348, email@example.com
Online, Sun Spots turned up some instructions on how to do the repairs yourself, but not much on providers of that service. Perhaps readers will have suggestions.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is there anyone in the area who repairs old quilts? I have one that is in relatively good shape and would like to have it refurbished. Thanks, Sun Spots, for your help. — Helene Bernier, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANSWER: Sun Spots has some seamstresses in her Rolodex. She doesn't know whether they would work on quilts or not, but here are their names.
* Anita, Lewiston, 783-7623, pickup and delivery available
* Chez Dorea, 277 Lisbon St., Lewiston, open Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 333-0755
* Cecile Giguere, 1048 Sabattus St., Lot 28, 784-3028
* Nita Brissette, Nita's Alterations in Turner, 212-3766
* Alterations by Judy, 906 Sabattus St., Lewiston, 783-6201
* Alice Hilton, Gardiner area, 582-3759
Quilters or other seamstresses may respond as well.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is there anyone around who still does invisible mending/weaving? Very grateful for this column. Thanks a bunch. — No Name via email
ANSWER: The last time Sun Spots had this inquiry, she had one response: L. Ligthart, 784-7062.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I think your column is great. I would like to find someone locally who makes stuffed toys out of old fur coats. I have a full-length one about size 12 in excellent condition. I want to get rid of it. — Myrtle, Norway
ANSWER: Many readers have turned their old fur coats into teddy bears. Sun Spots has a couple of names for you. Both make teddy bears; Paulette was considering trying rabbits, too.
* Angie Rogers, P.O. Box 185, Gray, ME 04039, 428-4415
* Paulette Anctil, Lewiston, email@example.com, 784-6728
If you don't want the bears for yourself, you could donate them to a children's charity.
Or you could sell your coat on eBay. There is still an international market for them.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have counted cross-stitch material that I am no longer able to use. There's four rolls of 16- by 18-inch Aida cloth, rulers, needles, a stand with magnifying line guide, bobbins, plastic bags, step-by-step videotape, a wooden frame for work up to 18 inches wide, a DMC stitcher's color guide and about 190 bobbins of embroidery floss. Any suggestions as to an organization that could make use of this material? — No Name via email
ANSWER: Sun Spots does not know the best option, but her mailbox will soon be overflowing with requests for this valuable assortment so generously offered, which you could easily sell on eBay or Etsy.com for a good price.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Would anyone have any very simple baby sets for knitting? I would appreciate any patterns you have. — Phyllis Adams, 1633 Main St., Apt. 19, Oxford, 04270-3389
DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the Feb. 4 inquiry, I am the person who had the stand for mittens at the FEZtival of Trees. — Debbie Sherman, Winthrop, 377-7933
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won't use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.