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Cross-stich Family Tree

Loaned by Carolyn Danz
Created by her friend and neighbor, Elly Smith

“I did a lot of sewing over my lifetime,” Carolyn says simply, “and I loved it.” During early years, the dress shop she founded and the clothing she created helped make financial ends meet. Decades of her volunteer work organizing sewing groups generated new community as well as new creations. Throughout her lifetime, her gifts of sewing, smocking, embroidery, and clothing to family and friends help tie them to her, and to one another.

Carolyn’s extended, blended, growing family is lovingly captured in an embroidered series of counted cross-stitch family trees. The first of these, exhibited here, was made by her next-door-neighbor Elly Smith in 1982 to celebrate the 90th birthday of Helen Berkman Blumenthal, Carolyn’s mother. “Elly was my inspiration for the family tree samplers, I’ve created an addendum every five years as the family has grown.”

“I do a lot of cross-stitch. I make samplers and it’s gotten to be a habit. It's very hard for me to sit in the evening and watch television without something in my hands, but I love it. I’ve created lots of family samplers for the children and for weddings and for things. I design them myself. I love the creation of it. I really do. We’re in our fifth generation now in this city. And it's been a wonderful life.”

Cross-Stitch Family Tree
Full image

Cross-stitch family tree.

Loaned by Carolyn Danz
Created by her friend and neighbor, Elly Smith

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Cross-stich Family Tree." (Viewed on October 27, 2016) <>.


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