Partners in both life and art, French-Swedish textile artists Charles Henry and Elin Petronella create embroidery designs inspired by architecture. Together known as Le Kadre, their aim is to “inspire and motivate people to create.” Each embroidered cityscape illustrates the couple’s travels, favorite streets, and buildings found in various European neighborhoods.
From flower-filled Parisian balconies and tree-lined streets, to the colorful port towns of Denmark, each artwork begins life as charming urban-sketches and is then brought to life with freehand embroidery. Although Henry and Petronella are two different artists, the creative duo have managed to create a coherent style. In some pieces, rows of buildings are rendered simply with a black thread outline, while the surrounding trees, plant life, and sky are made from colorful, swirling lines. In other pieces, the facades of buildings are covered in vibrant, primary-colored stitches to depict the colorful rows of houses found in towns such as Copenhagen.
The couple shares its talent with other embroidery enthusiasts via various workshops and a new e-course called Guide to Architectural Embroidery. No matter where you are in the world, you can learn to create “the straight lines of the buildings, the gradients of wild plants, the charms of the flowers.” If you’re already a skilled stitcher, you can buy and download PDF patterns of the Le Kadre designs via their website.