Ten Squared Quilt Top made by Penguin Feats
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Behind Penguin Feats with Trinia Braughton

Trinia Braughton of Penguin Feats

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Trinia Braughton of Penguin Feats, a quilter and patter maker, at Sew Pro in Chicago,  earlier this fall. We had a great time at this event, attended some of the same presentations, and shared information when we went to different ones.

Trinia Braughton, owner of Penguin Feats

Trinia Braughton, owner of Penguin Feats










Over the course of these few days, we talked about the #100 blocks #100 Days challenge based on https://www.amazon.com/Tula-Pinks-City-Sampler-Modern/dp/1440232148, which she participated in, and resulted in a stunning quilt at the end. And of course we covered the other important topics, such as; quilting, blogging, and being an army spouse, army mother, our families and traveling.

Raspberrylemonadequilt, Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton

Raspberrylemonadequilt, Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton

Trinia loves ice hockey, and is a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, even though she is an Oregonian. She developed the Penguin Feats logo while attending an art class. The assignment was to create an identity design project which challenged her “to design a logo and concept, around that logo, that had meaning.”

She also loves penguins. And her husband teases her about her feet, looking like penguin feet. That said, in 2001, Penguin Feats was born. The double entendre refers to the “feats she is now developing through her creative process.” Additionally, Trinia is looking to teach, design more patterns and produce them for sale.

While growing up on a farm in Willamette Valley, she had many influences who nurtured her love of design and sewing. Her father was a wood carver and logger, who did some sewing too. “He had more patience than my mom with the mechanics of the sewing machine, so he helped me learn how to keep my machine running well. And he was a big influence in helping me figure out how to make my own patterns. We even made a custom boat cover for his river boat together.” Trinia’s mom was very creative in the kitchen. She made everything from scratch without using recipes.

Additionally, her grandmother, an exceptional seamstress, was the one who taught her how to sew. For her ninth birthday, Trinia received a sewing machine. She learned to make dolls, stuffed animals, stirrup pants, baggy sweatshirts, prom dresses and even a few wedding gowns. Her grandmother taught her how to make original templates from paper bags.

“The influence on my sewing is deep from my parents and grandmother. None of them quilted….or sewed the way I do. But, they all helped me develop the ability to stitch up the ideas in my head. I have this little duffle my grandmother made for me when I was about 10 years old. I still have it and use it every time I travel. I know I can make another that is updated with new fabric and my favorite colors….but I keep this to remind me that I learned from the best.”

Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton, Duffle Bag

Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton, Duffle Bag

Trinia graduated in 2002, with a BFA in Multimedia Design from The University of Oregon. She met her husband during the summer after graduating from high school. They were both attending a community college at the time, to figure out what they wanted to do for their careers. Eventually, they married and began working. Her husband was laid off, so he enlisted in the army without telling her. At the time he felt the Army was his only employment choice.

You can imagine that their first few years of marriage was a test of love, endurance and resilience. “The life of an army spouse was not my initial choice.” After the stress of basic training, while she lived in Oregon, and he trained in Georgia, they moved to North Carolina. Then Trinia became pregnant. No pressure at all here.

When I met Trinia, and got to know her over the weekend, I could tell she was a determined, resourceful woman with so much inner strength. She is also very smart and funny. Not only did I have great respect for her, because we share many core values, but I was in awe of her bag. I asked her if she would make me one, of course for pay. The design was so unique and fun. It had major world cities on them, and I picked two my husband and I visited, and two we plan to visit.

As Trinia said after looking back at 23 years in the army, “It was not easy to learn how to be an army spouse, but I love my Soldier….I love him more than I disliked the army. Looking back after his retirement this summer, I can say it hasn’t been as horrible as I thought it would….and we have come out of it with some great memories….great friends….great experiences….and I wouldn’t change any of it.”

No one knows better than the families that serve how scary it can be. It truly is the ultimate sacrifice.

Trinia sent me much of her interview, via e-mail. And most of you know, I have a big heart and so much respect for military families. When I read the following, I did tear up. It’s too special, not to share.

“The opportunities the army life has presented us cannot be measured. We have lived all over ….North Carolina, Hawaii, Washington, Virginia and even Italy. The friendships that have been forged during these short tours have stayed with us over the years. We have created a family that is spread throughout the world. Finishing our college degrees would not have been possible without the Montgomery GI Bill. We are grateful for the opportunities we were given and we are content with the choices we made to accomplish our goals through those circumstances.”

Trinia began her first quilt in 2003 during her husband’s first deployment, which was just after their graduation from The University of Oregon. The mascot and team names for U of O is a duck. So she designed a duck quilt, which she planned to applique.  She drew out the design on poster paper, and cut out individual pieces from different fabrics.  After the first pieces of fabric were secured using Heat & Bond, she used the satin stitch to applique the shapes onto the quilt. “I think I used 3 spools of black thread on that quilt. It took me 11 years to finish it. I had no idea how to quilt it. Finally in 2013 I took a free motion quilting class and came up with a way to quilt it. I finished it in about 3 weeks while my husband was on his last deployment.”

Throughout the quilting journey so far, the ability to share with others in the creative process is the seed of growing valuable connections and a community for Trinia. “To see so many different people with different ideas come together to bring something to life….a quilt along….a swap….a charity auction….a blog hop….and to see all the different styles come together for something is inspiring.”

On a different note, we talked about some of her favorite components in sewing, creating and making. Trinia loves to work with natural fibers, cotton with a high thread count, and incorporating cork and leather. She used cork brilliantly in her around the world handbag, which is the one I purchased from her.  (I ordered mine without cork).

Penguin Feats Trinia Braughton Major Cities Bag

Penguin Feats Trinia Braughton Major Cities Bag

Penguin Feats Trinia Braughton Major Cities Bag

Penguin Feats Trinia Braughton Major Cities Bag

Her favorite color is yellow, and she says she has every shade of it. Trinia also loves other bright saturated colors. After re-evaluating her stash, she began filling in the gaps with colors she tends to stay away from, and she noticed raspberry was missing.

After purchasing lots of this missing color, she used both lemon and raspberry brilliantly in the #100 blocks #100 Days challenge. “That raspberry color was completely missing from my stash, except for the Alison Glass Raspberry Sphere print.” That print eventually became the inspiration for the raspberry in the quilt blocks. “I wanted to use something different with the yellow that I hadn’t used before.”

Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton, Raspberry and Lemon Palette, #100blocks#100Dayschallenge

Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton, Raspberry and Lemon Palette, #100blocks#100Dayschallenge

Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton, Raspberry and Lemon Palette, #100blocks#100Dayschallenge

Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton, Raspberry and Lemon Palette, #100blocks#100Dayschallenge

Trinia is a very visual person. “I enjoy looking at pieces that have a sense of play with positive and negative space. The use of bright, bold saturated color with geometric abstract images inspire me. I prefer asymmetrical presentations….finding balance with color, value, and proportion with asymmetrical design really tests my designs aesthetics. Expression of a feeling or moment with these elements really makes the design process personal. Having a personal attachment to the design, because of what I am trying to express, makes the process more meaningful to me.

Her Ten Squared Quilt Pattern is her first original quilt pattern, and she is very proud and excited about it. It began as a personal challenge to work with HST’s and it became a dynamic design. “Turning it into my first quilt pattern is a huge accomplishment, as it was never intended to be a pattern. I hope it is just the beginning.”

Ten Squared Quilt Top made by Penguin Feats

Ten Squared Quilt Top made by Penguin Feats

Thank you, Trinia for sharing your quilting, blogging, and stories about your life with us today. Trinia  will be giving away a Ten Squared Quilt kit which includes the pattern and over 100 precut squares to make a lap size quilt top.

Ten Squared Kit, Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton

Ten Squared Kit, Penguin Feats, Trinia Braughton


Entering the giveaway has 2 parts.

  1. Leave a comment below in the comment box telling us what sewing technique you would like to learn in 2017.
  2. Follow Trinia on Instagram @penguinfeats.
  3. This give-a-way is open to U.S. and International residents.

Please be sure to complete both parts for entry in the giveaway.  We will pick a random number on Friday, December 23, at 6:00 PM, PST, and announce it on both blogs. Please, if you are a no-reply blogger, leave your e-mail address so we can get in touch with you if you are the winner. Neither of us has a newsletter, so your e-mail address will not be compromised in any way.

Good luck and have fun!!








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I love reading your comments, and will respond directly by e-mail.


  • Reply Sandy A in St. Louis December 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Anne! Thanks for the introduction to a new blogger! I enjoyed the interview immensely!

    I would love to learn reverse applique this year. I don’t “do” Instagram so I am not entering the give away. Just wanted to say “hi” and “happy holidays!”

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      No worries. You will be counted here. Good to here from you Sandy!! Happy Holidays to you and your family!!

  • Reply Donna Ledford December 17, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I loved the interview. I have known Trinia for a quite a few years, but learned many new things about her from this interview 🙂
    I would like to try free motion quilting in the coming year.
    I am also already a follower on Instagram.
    Thanks for a great interview!

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks. I’m gals you stopped by my blog. I am interested in becoming more proficient as a machine quilter too.

  • Reply Cynthia Meredith December 17, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I’d like to concentrate on perfecting what I’ve already tried, like hand appliance.

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      I love hand applique too. Thanks for stopping by my blog. During 2017, I will be adding cross-stitch and embroidery. One of my goals, along with making for more quilts in 2017.

  • Reply Sherry Finch December 18, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Loved reading this! Go, Trinia!!

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Trinia is so talented. I wish my dad was still alive. He was a designer too. He would have been a great mentor.

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Yeah!! Go Trinia!!

  • Reply DianeY December 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I actually follow her on IG already, but I never even knew what her name was. Love the Raspberry Lemonade blocks!

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      I am doing the raspberry lemon color combination for a spring summer sherbet quilt. Trinia’s inspired me.

  • Reply tinawright827 December 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Trinia is so clever! I would love to learn her tips and tricks for finishing bags so beautifully. I’d also love some tips on being more precise in my piecing skills. I’m better after finishing the 100 Days 100 Blocks challenge, but I could use some instruction in this.

    • Reply Anne Beier December 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      I would love to learn more tips and Tricks too. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  • Reply lovinglylissa December 18, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    It was so nice to read about Trinia! I haven’t had a chance to talk to her as much since we met at SewPro, but I do follow her on Instagram. For the new year, I’m not planning many new techniques as much as planning to create my business in pattern design. I’ll be setting up an LLC and bank account and trying my hardest to get some patterns up!

  • Reply kalexmommy December 18, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Trinia is an awesome person, quilter and designer. I learned quite a few techniques from her during her too-short stay in Hawaii. We miss her and her talent immensely!

    I’d lie to learn how to sew a zipper. I’m still afraid, but I need to just make myself do it!

  • Reply Carrierrie December 19, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I am following Trinia on IG so glad I found a fellow Oregonian and Duck through 100 blocks. So glad to learn more about her here. I never thought I would say this but I’m thinking about learning embroidery and appliqué this year. Portable projects.

  • Reply Annette Zautcke December 19, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I’ve ‘met’ Trinia through a virtual bee but I’ve learned so much more about her here! Thanks so much! Her work is impeccable and I love her eye for design! I said this for 2016…Id like to create something original….but didn’t accomplish that. Perhaps 2017 I’ll step into that realm!

  • Reply Sarah Bate December 19, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I would love to learn paper piecing, tried to teach myself in 2016 but in 2017id like to increase my skills! Love this quilt, saw it being pieced during Sewtopia Austin and would love to win a kit!!

    • Reply Anne Beier December 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      She is so creative and lovely. We met a Sew Pro, which you probably know. Now I am probably going to a Sewtopia in New Orleans.

  • Reply Bronwyn Hooper December 19, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Lovely to find your blog after seeing Trinia’s IG post! thanks so much for the giveaway – I think for 2017 I would love to learn or maybe experience the pleasure of Finishing! This is a major hurdle for me – I start too many things and get stalled for one reason or another – usually the quilting part! So 2017 is tackle the hurdle of Quilting in order to experience the pleasure of Finishing! 😀

    • Reply Anne Beier December 19, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      So glad you stopped by my blog, ad Trinia’s IG. I will be writing a post about my word of the year, which is a post. We have the similar goals. So that could be your word too. I have lots of projects that need to be machine quilted too. Happy Holidays to you.

  • Reply Charlene Hearst December 19, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Enjoyed your article on Trinia of @penguinfeats I met Trinia through the #100days100blocks challenge on IG. New technique for 2017 I would like to learn is free motion machine quilting on my new sewing machine.

  • Reply Cathy C December 19, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Nice interview with Trina. I want to learn to be a better longarmer in 2017 – -I just bought a machine at an auction!

  • Reply Cathy C December 19, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I am following Trinia on Instagram

  • Reply Kate December 19, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    These colors are my jam! What a great and generous giveaway. To challenge myself in 2017 I believe I will attempt my first EPP project. Kinda scary!! 😕

  • Reply Nicole Sender December 20, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Enjoyed your post! I’d like to learn how to paper piece in 2017!

  • Reply Nicole Sender December 20, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Following Trinia on Instagram @penguinfeats: @minibea123

  • Reply Ophelie December 20, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Thank you for this interview. I was already following Trina on IG because I kept an eye on her 100 blocks. Her quilt was one of my favorite because she chose a real color “parti pris” ( i don’t know this word in English 🙂) it’s really interesting to get to know a little better people that we admire through their work sometimes without even knowing what they look like 😊
    Next year I’d like to practice FMQ! Because it’s a hard really challenging technique.
    I guess I won’t be eligible for the giveaway as I don’t live in the US but I wanted to answer anyway 😁

  • Reply Roseanne Atkinson December 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Hi, I’m following Trina on IF. I would love to learn more about machine quilting. I have so many tops completed, but am really stuck on finishing them with machine quilting. It is my goal in 2017 to finish all the WIP that I started in 2016. 😊

  • Reply Lorina DeMello December 21, 2016 at 4:26 am

    i can barely sew a straight stitch, and i don’t know the name of any techniques. i’d have to get help from my sister-in-law who is an avid quilter. i’m already following trinia in IG – followed her progress on her 100 block challenge.

  • Reply Pam December 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Bias tape appliqué is my new skill for 2017 after I’ve conquered my WIPs of course!

  • Reply mmbijuquilt December 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I really wish I could learn paperpiecing ! and reverse applique! Xoxo, Marli

  • Reply Holly Knauft December 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Fun to hear more details to Trinia!! I” so glad I got a chance to get to know her too! Looking forward to working on 10 squared over my break!! 🙂 congrats!

  • Reply Donna Joy December 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Great to to learn about Trina, and I follow on Instagram
    djcutting2(at) gmail(dot)com

  • Reply Donna Joy December 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    I would like to learn paper piecing and continue to learn FMQ.
    You have done an outstanding job on designing a quilt. Maybe someday I will get brave enough to design one. I would be so excited to make your quilt, thanks for giveaway.

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