How to Make a St. Andrew's Cross

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The Cross of St. Andrew is not shaped like a traditional cross; it is in the shape of a saltire, or a diagonal X with four arms of equal length. According to Catholic tradition, this is the shape of the cross on which the apostle Andrew asked to be crucified. He knew his death was inevitable and felt unworthy to be crucified on the same cross as his teacher, Jesus. Records of this story date back no further than the Middle Ages, yet, myth or not, St. Andrew’s story is still told to inspire humility. St. Andrew is also the patron saint of Scotland.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 9-inch by 11-inch felt pieces (1 white, 1 royal blue)
  • Spool of white thread
  • Stick pins
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Blue or other light-colored chalk
  • 9-inch by 11-inch picture frame

Measure a one inch wide strip down the 11 inch side of the white felt. Use the ruler and chalk to draw a guideline and cut the strip from the edge of the felt. Repeat to make a second white strip.

Lay one strip diagonally across the blue felt. Trim the flat ends of the white strip at a 90-degree angle to match the angles in the corners of the blue felt. Repeat on second strip.

Lay the strips in an X on the blue felt, layering one on top of the other.

Pin the strips to the blue felt starting at the corners. Push each pin down through both layers of felt, then up through both layers so you can see both the head and point of each pin. Use five or six pins for each strip.

Cut about two feet of thread. Thread the needle by poking one end of the thread through the hole in the needle’s blunt end. To make this easier, moisten the end of the thread with your tongue.

Pull the thread through the needle so the ends are even. Knot the ends together so they will not slip out of the needle.

Choose a corner of one of the white felt strips. Push the needle through the back of the blue felt and pull it through the corner of the white felt until the knot bumps against the blue felt.

Sew the strip to the blue felt by pushing the needle down into the blue felt right next to the edge of the strip. Pull the thread until it tightens, then push the needle up through the blue and white felts, very close to the edge of the white felt. The stitch should look as if it is wrapped around the edge of the strip.

Continue sewing the strips to the blue felt until you have about three inches of thread left. Make a stitch that ends on the back of the blue felt. Twist the thread into a loop close to the felt; pass the needle through the loop and tug gently to form knot against the blue felt.

Rethread the needle and repeat steps 8 and 9 until both strips are sewn to the blue felt.

Place the finished piece into the picture frame with the cross against the glass. Put the backing on the frame and fold down the small metal tabs at the edges to hold it in place.

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