Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cross

For St. Patrick's Day, I wanted a project that wasn't about shamrocks or leprechauns and had traditional roots in Ireland. I found this in The Year in Ireland: A Calendar by Kevin Dannaher. The book is out of print but can be found on and other sources.

Young girls and small children wear on the right shoulder "a St Patrick's Cross", consisting of a single or double cross formed of pieces of narrow silk ribbon stitched to a circular disk of white paper, nicked at the edge, and measuring from 3 to 4 1/2 inches in diameter. At the ends of the arms of the cross a very small bow or rosette is stitched and one a trifle larger at the junction of the arms; the more and the brighter the colours of the silk, the more handsome is considered the St Patrick's Cross.
Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society 1908

I made my cross from a piece of white shirt cardboard. I used pieces of plastic bag instead of silk ribbon. Even though I make an effort to carry a bag with me shopping, plastic bags do seem to multiply. I went through my bag of bags before I took them back to the supermarket and selected ones with color to make the ribbons and bows. I cut narrow strips and tied them into bows. The plastic bag I used for the center wasn't long enough to tie a bow so I just shaped one. I stitched the plastic ribbons and bows onto the circle but you could also use a stapler.

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