The Pantone Color of the Year quilting challenge has been a feature of the quilting community on social media for a number of years now. It's always been an annual highlight for me seeing others interpret color with textiles.

Adrianne of On The Windy Side and Anne of Play Crafts are co-hosting the challenge this year and have lined up a number of sponsors who've donated stacks of gift certificates, fat quarter bundles and thread for the three prize categories - completed quilts, quilt tops and minis. There are also viewer's choice awards and lucky draw prizes for entering.

I eagerly await Pantone's color of the year announcement each year. Like many, I was skeptical when they picked Marsala.

We're nearing the one year anniversary of Quilt Design A Day. Although I didn't make a design everyday, I made a really good run at it. From the beginning, I planned on doing three or four designs a week. As I got into the rhythm, it was closer to five or six.

I'll be out of town all next month when the anniversary hits, so I decided to collate this year's designs a bit early. I picked out one hundred of my favorite pieces and put them together on a website, 100 Quilt Designs.

I wanted to share a few Quilt Design a Day submissions from the last two weeks. It's become evident that I embrace brash, yet subtle color pairings with uncomfortably-placed elements. There's a few in this batch that I hope I find both the time and suitably-colored solids to make.

In April of last year, I popped up a free foundation piecing tutorial for my Hack Slash star block. I designed the block as part of my quilt font and decided to use it in a quilting bee that I was in. A few of the girls in that bee like traditional piecing, so I drafted up instructions for them as well. I'm happy to share those traditional piecing instructions as a free tutorial.

The directions make a 9" finished block (9 1/2" unfinished) using three fabrics.

I brought home some Cotton and Steel Viewmaster fabric from GJ's yesterday, and Craig became unusually nostalgic. He gleefully rattled on about loading the reels and clicking the lever. While he was chattering away, I reached into a teal canister in the kitchen and pulled out a hidden gem.

I had one very happy husband on my hands.

We don't have many reels, but we're content to look at Hawaii and the White House over and over again.

Last month in the peak the my affliction I found myself in the uncomfortable position of having my mind completely working, yet my body was too exhausted to respond. I was thinking clearly, but incapable of of doing much aside from laying in bed.

Luckily a good friend came to the rescue and bought me a Craftsy class, Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot with Jacquie Gering. Being stuck in bed or on the couch, it was the perfect passive activity.

Eek! Has it really been four months since I posted my Quilt Design a Day designs? I'm still at it - not every day, but with enough regularity to keep pushing myself creatively and improving. QDAD is still a great group of people who share ideas and constructive feedback. Whether you are brand new to graphics programs or an old hat at them, I still highly recommend giving it a go.

I've been meaning to make a microsite with my favorite designs, but it's unfortunately low on the todo list.

The first time and only time I went berry picking,  I was eleven years old. My Grandma June took me. We spent hours harvesting fresh berries from Jacob's U-Pick Strawberry Farm in central Illinois. Then we went to her house and made strawberry pie. It is one of my fondest childhood memories with my grandmother - only eclipsed by the time she took us to Steak-n-Shake and bought us both double hamburger meals.

Craig hadn't done much berry picking in his life either.

My first sunday stash post popped up in 2009. Since then, it has been all drop-ins and drive-bys.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled on the idea of giving myself a yearly word - a mantra to focus on instead of a resolution. Resolutions are hard. They are often too tightly defined, too narrow and too easily allow for failure. Mantras are easier - more guidelines, than rules. In my case, my yearly word is a principle with which I approach the year. Whether I'm making a choice or meeting with friends, my annual word never strays far from my mind.

In 2013, I chose curate.