The Marysville Quilt in the newspaper

This article appeared in the Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader on January 5, 2010:


From the ashes of Black Saturday has come an amazing outpouring of warmth and generosity.
When Julie Bell and Julie Warren began developing a project to allow local quilters to show their support to bushfire victims, they had no idea it would involve people from all parts of the globe.
A Warburton resident, Ms Bell was trapped in Marysville on February 7 and witnessed first hand the devastation.
Her family and several other by-standers helped a woman escape from a car that was crushed by a falling tree. When the woman was safely in an ambulance Ms Bell said the group turned to see thick black smoke just 100m from where they stood.
They escaped the town and drove to nearby Alexandra, where they spent the night in a school hall filled with smoke from the fires.
"The one thing I experienced in the middle of all of that was an incredible sense of community," Ms Bell said. "People were looking after each other, and I was moved by their spirit."
Grateful to have escaped alive, Ms Bell decided she wanted to do something more to help Marysville on the road to recovery.
She began with a couple of planting days and then decided on a quilt project that would show the town's people they were not alone.
"I was a non-quilter so it was just an idea, but I was talking about it in a quilting shop in Healesville when Julie Warren, who was visiting from Mulgrave, overheard me and offered to help," she said.
The Beauty for Ashes project has collected more than 130 squares from quilters as far afield as England and Canada.
The giant quilt will be donated to Marysville on the one-year anniversary of the fires."

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