Best Friends and the Best Fabric: New Quilt Shop Opens In Ashland

Best Friends and the Best Fabric: New Quilt Shop Opens In Ashland

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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With some new sashing and a bit of stitchwork, formerly known as Penny’s Quilts, an Ashland Quilting staple has been purchased by a new fabric shop: Best Friends Fabric and more.

“I've always wanted to own a shop of some sort, and then I've been quilting for about 25 years, maybe a little longer,” explained Tara Koppenhaver, owner of Best Friends Fabric. “It's mainly focused on quilting, but [with] the fabric and things that we have you could make anything with it.”

Koppenhaver has always wanted to own a shop of her own, and was ready to take a step into the creative world, so when she heard from her friend Mary Hickey that the owner of Penny’s Quilts was wanting to retire, she knew that this was the move for her.



“I used to sew there also, and buy material from her [Penny], and they just mentioned, I think it was her daughter in law, Jennifer, [who] said that they were thinking of retiring. I said, ‘Well, I just happen to know somebody who said they were looking for a quilt shop!’” explained Mary Hickey, who has been a local of the shop for many years and has been quilting for around 30 years.

Hickey met Koppenhaver through a quilting guild, and has since been very involved at the store. From here, Koppenhaver bought the store and now is ready to put her own spin on things.

“It's very freeing from [the] corporate world. It's creative. I get to meet and talk to so many neat people, and of course see their artistry as well as show off things [projects] that our customers and we have done in the shop,” detailed Koppenhaver.

Currently, the shop hosts sewing groups throughout the week, while also providing a haven for quilters of any level. Featuring name brand fabric from Moda, Lori Holt and Riley Blake, quilters can enjoy beautiful fabrics year-round. The shop also plans to host several different kinds of classes, including their staple quilters 101 class (for beginning quilters), quilt block classes and even project classes that go beyond just quilting or are completely different entirely–including card making and zippered bags. Classes will be held on Saturdays, and for now, information can be found about them on the Best Friends Fabric and More Facebook page.

“Tara  is so awesome. She's just a really super nice lady. She's very relaxed and enjoys what she's doing. I've really loved Penny's shop, but I'd tell you I have to say I really love this even more because there's so much more to come and look at. Every time I come there, there's something new and that makes it a lot of fun,” detailed Hickey.

In the future, the shop hopes to expand into offering scissor sharpening services, sewing machine repair, and even in-house long arm quilting services (which are currently offered, just not in house).

“We want to be able to give back to the community, so we’ve [also] applied for Quilts of Valor to be a Quilts of Valor shop,” commented Koppenhaver.

Truly, the shop hopes to serve the community and give back to the community in everything that they do.

The shop is working on a website, but for now you can keep up with Best Friends Fabric and More on their Facebook page, or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Happy quilting!

Embarking On Your Fitness Journey: A Guide to Finding Your Ideal Gym

Embarking On Your Fitness Journey

A Guide to Finding Your Ideal Gym

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

Gym Article

Starting your fitness journey toward a healthier lifestyle can be both exhilarating and overwhelming in a world bustling with fitness trends, which seem to be coming at you from all angles especially this time of year. Finding that perfect place that aligns with your unique needs is often the first crucial step to beginning one’s fitness journey. When choosing a gym it is recommended that you know your end goal. For example: if your goal is to gain muscle and bulk up, you may want to consider a gym that offers training in the proper and safe way to do so. Different gyms cater to specific objectives, so realizing what your end goals are will only help to guide you in the right direction. Check out this list of some of the area’s most popular gyms.



Anytime Fitness

372 Diedrich Blvd,

Ashland, Ky 41101


Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour gym that has a lot to offer. From its always evolving fitness equipment to its highly trained coaches, you are sure to feel right at home.

Ashland Area YMCA

3232 Megan Neyer Way

Ashland, Ky 41102


The Ashland Area YMCA is your one-stop-shop for all things health and fitness related. At the Ashland Area YMCA, you can enjoy the cardio room, weight room and over 50 fitness classes that are offered every week which is all included in the cost of membership. You can also upgrade your membership to include access to the men’s and women’s fitness centers where you will find top of the line equipment, sauna, steam room, and whirlpools. Be sure to check out the Ashland Area YMCA’s newest circuit training room.

The Basement

1510 Winchester Avenue

Ashland, Ky 41101


The Basement is Ashland’s latest hot spot. You are sure to feel right at home in this women’s only adult gym featuring all new equipment, fitness classes and highly trained trainers.

Elite Fitness

5850 US-60 Suite 1A

Ashland, Ky 41102


Elite Fitness is a 24-hour gym conveniently located in the heart of Boyd County. This gym has a lot to offer from top-of-the-line equipment to services specifically catered to your needs such as personal training, various Cryo treatments, IV hydration, vitamin injections, weight loss, compression therapy and so much more.

Fitness World

900 Cherokee Road

Raceland, Ky 41169


Fitness World has vast array of fitness equipment that will have you looking and feeling your best in no time. From fitness classes to personal trainers and nutrition coaches, you are sure to find what you are looking for at Fitness World.

The Gym

7707 US Route 60

Ashland, Ky 41102


The Gym is a gym like no other. It is owned by women and created for women. You will find state of the art exercise equipment and some of the area’s most sought after personal trainers and fitness classes.

IronHeads Gym (Ashland Location)

1301 Winchester Avenue

Ashland Ky, 41101


IronHeads Gym (Flatwoods Location)

1513 Argillite Road

Flatwoods, Ky 41139


At IronHeads Gym, you will find all the tools you need to accomplish those New Year’s resolutions and a top-notch staff ready help you reach those goals.

Planet Fitness

711 12th St

Suite 160

Ashland, Ky 41101


Planet Fitness prides itself on creating a workout environment where everyone feels accepted and respected. You will find the latest and greatest in workout equipment, personal trainers, and fitness classes to suit all of your fitness needs. Unique to Planet Fitness is their ability to offer massage chairs, hydro massage, and tanning beds for one incredibly low price.

Remember that no two people’s fitness journeys are exactly the same. Your fitness journey is unique to you. Finding a gym that resonates with your goals, preferences, and lifestyle is the key to unlocking a healthier, more vibrant you.

Service, Sincerity and Care: Legacy of Speedy Signs Passed to New Owner

Service, Sincerity and Care: Legacy of Speedy Signs Passed to New Owner

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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Quick, friendly, and local–Speedy Signs has been the heartbeat of Carter Avenue in Ashland for several years, and now it is under new ownership.

Tom Conley, longtime owner of Speedy Signs and Banners recently passed away in October following a brief illness. Conley was a light in Ashland life, operating his business with a smile and a local touch that cannot be replaced. The new owner of Speedy Signs, Larry Bailey, purchased the business from Conley’s wife and was a longtime close friend of Conley’s.



Bailey met Conley during Bailey’s time as a golf coach at Paul Blazer High School and became close with Conley through Bailey’s work with baseball collectibles. A longtime hobby of Bailey’s–which has spurned two books–became something he shared with Conley, as well as hours of conversation.

“That's what Tom and I did. We could solve any problem anywhere. Now, we don't know if it's going to work, but we got a solution,” laughed Bailey.

The two would talk about any number of topics, and around the winter of 2020, Conley mentioned looking for a retired teacher to work down at Speedy Signs–having Bailey in mind. Bailey, a recently retired teacher, soon began working (unpaid) at Speedy Signs, helping out with the customers and working on his collectibles.

“He was such a genuine person and great friend,” shared Bailey.

Bailey was a close friend of longtime businessman, musician and veteran Tom Conley until his passing in October. After Bailey suffered a health scare of his own, he prayed about acquiring the business for a long time and eventually was persuaded to make an offer on the store only on the condition that the staff and crew came with the store. With the blessing of Conley’s wife, Joni Conley, Bailey acquired the business.

“I’ve just got a top-notch team,” expressed Bailey, who could not be more complementary of his crew.

Bailey himself, the 2019 Male Middle School Teacher of the Year, is now beginning his role as a business owner and hopes to expand upon the legacy of Tom Conley in everything he does.

The shop is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to service all of the area's advertising needs, whether in traditional signs, banners, and t-shirts or through embroidered hats, stickers, or mugs. All of their work is done in-house, and delivery is always free.

“Tom was good at service and I mean that sincerely, but I'm trying to really elevate that service. We deliver for free. I don't care if you're in Morehead, or if you're in Elliott County. You need something from me and you can't get down here, I'll be out,” detailed Bailey.

Bailey’s and Speedy Signs, philosophy is much the same as it was in his classroom: service, sincerity and care above everything else.

The crew at Speedy Signs is grateful for all the customers who come through the door—as they have chosen Speedy Signs to be their advertising home.  “We appreciate our customers. If anything's wrong with the order, please tell us. I'll make it right. If I have to do it over, no problem,” expressed Bailey.

Bailey, led on by the legacy of Tom Conley, seeks to expand and lead Speedy Signs to the best of his and his crew’s ability.

“'I'm glad my business is in Ashland. I'm proud of Ashland, and I want to see it prosper,” commented Bailey.

From his 27 years as a teacher in the area to his love for sports and Ashland itself, Speedy Signs is sure to prosper along with our growing city.

Just One Word

Just 1



Lora Parsons

The Ashland Beacon

If I were to guess, I’d say we all have a funny autocorrect story to tell. It’s a feature about smartphones that amazes me--so close to mind-reading at times. Until it isn’t. My own embarrassing autocorrect stories usually come down to a one-letter difference in a word that makes ALL the difference--“o” and “i” are just too close together! While these funny autocorrect moments make me smile, one repeated autocorrect really perplexes. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve intended to type “peace” but instead end up typing “leave.” Autocorrect and I have gotten it wrong more than we’ve gotten it right!  So, I’ve been mulling it over.

With words, sometimes looking at opposite meanings is insightful, focusing on what they’re not. Peace, for instance, is the absence of war at its most literal meaning, but there’s a more personal level to it that, yes, may include an absence of turmoil in our lives—a calm when things are just going smoothly. But, peace is more than just the negative circumstantial things in life being at rest. It’s more than a leave-ing of challenges or trials.



There may be others, but I know of at least this verse in the Bible that uses both the words “peace” and “leave.” John 14:27–“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (ESV). In context, Jesus is square in the midst of telling His followers that He’s about to be crucified; He’s about to die; He’s about to LEAVE them in a way that they can only understand to be a very permanent leaving. Their leader is telling them that He’s both going away and coming back. This doesn’t make sense to humans in bodies that live once and die once. One of the disciples asks Him to clarify—how are you going to manifest yourself to us after you physically leave this world? Their questions during this chapter-long conversation weren’t about not having enough faith. They were grappling to understand: “What do you mean you’re leaving us but you’ll somehow manifest yourself to us after leaving?” His answer is clear. He says first, you’ll have my Word (remember last month’s word?). You’ll be able to reference what I’ve taught you there. When you follow me to the Word and obey my teachings, then you’ll also walk through life knowing that your steps are ordered by a loving Father. You can trust that He’s working in your life out of love. Circumstances may not leave, but neither will He.  And, when we have the Word of God and the love of God, the third thing He says He’ll do to manifest Himself to them (to us) is leave behind His peace.  He has bequeathed to us, through His death and resurrection, peace. He goes on to explain that it won’t be a peace that the world can bring—it won’t be an absence of war, it won’t be an absence of pain, it won’t be an absence of want. It won’t be a life without the normal experiences that all humans have to face. But, it will be a life floating on a current of peace. It won’t matter how wild the winds blow, how bright the lightning flashes around us, or how loud the thunder booms overhead; we have peace despite the storms we face.

And, then Jesus does what I think is miraculous in this smidgen of time leading to His crucifixion. He demonstrates for us HOW He wants us to live in peace even in the midst of life’s storms--how we can face the adversities that come our way with the calm confidence of knowing God is in control.  He simply ends the conversation in verse 31 by saying, essentially, “And now let’s get up and LEAVE.” He had a job to do. Was it a job He looked forward to? Was it work that would elevate His status in some way, pay Him somehow in earthly terms? No, it would do the very opposite. His closest followers--His friends--those who He was intimately connected to--would betray Him. He knew He was facing such a horrific death that He sweat drops of blood in praying about that journey to the cross. He would suffer a crucifixion that He didn’t deserve. He knew what lay outside the walls of the room He was in--knew He was leaving safety behind, knew that on the other side of the door lay soldiers, a Roman scourge, spikes for His hands and feet, a spear for His side, a crown of thorns, a tomb, death, three days of darkness, separation from His Father…but He simply got up in peace to leave.  He knew all of what was to come, even on the other side of the storm He faced. He knew He would also leave the cross. He knew He would leave the grave. He knew He would leave the spikes, the ridicule, the betrayal.  He walked out of the room, able to leave in peace, because He knew the Father would take every step with Him.

Our eyes will look out and see turmoil from time to time. Our minds will feel confusion and conflict. Our families will experience the pain and separation of death. Our children will be hurt by a world that’s harsh and hateful. Our hearts will break. But, He overcame even death so that we could have His peace. An eternal, beyond-the-circumstances-of-this-world kind of peace. A lay-your-guilt-at-my-feet, leave-your-sin-right-here kind of peace.  A victory-over-death kind of peace. He says to us:  leave me all the things that make you human—your worries, your shame, your imperfections—and let me give you, in exchange, peace. We can’t do enough to make our own guilt leave. We can’t make our own shortcomings leave. We can’t make the troubles of this world leave. But, Jesus conquered them all. Our shame has to leave when He steps on the scene.  Confusion has to leave. The heaviness of this world has to leave when we focus on Jesus, because, ultimately, peace isn’t about leaving. It’s about Him. He chose to leave the room IN peace, AT peace, so we could live WITH--just one word--peace.

New Year’s Resolutions from Local Children

New Year’s Resolutions from Local Children

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

happy new year 2024 copy

As we turn the page to a new year, individuals worldwide are setting their sights on fresh beginnings through the age-old tradition of New Year's resolutions. From health and wellness aspirations to career goals, the start of the new year brings with it a rekindled spirit of determination and optimism.

The act of making resolutions serves as a symbolic gesture of hope and resilience. In addition, making a New Year’s resolution also signifies a person’s willingness to not only welcome change but to embrace it along with the transformation that comes with it. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for adults either. In fact, studies show that the start of a new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits and meeting new goals, and more often than not children enjoy having a goal to work toward. Just check out these New Year’s resolutions from a few of our area’s children with some pretty big plans for 2024.



Trypp (Age: 6)- I want to ride in an airplane for the first time.

Lando (Age: 4)- I want to ride in the airplane with my brother Trypp.

Jack (Age: 9)- I want to keep my room clean.

Tristyn (Age: 11)- I want to save all of my money.

Grayson (Age:9)- I want to get all “A’s” in my classes.

Tyron (Age:4)- I want to keep my room clean and play lots of games this year.

Tailyn (Age:13)- My New Year’s resolution is to not spend as much time on electronics.

Erica (Age:8)- This year, I hope to move up to “pointe” shoes in my ballet class.

Bailey (Age:12)- My goal is to work hard and get better at softball.

Jaxson (Age:10)- I want to get the game-winning baseball and strike someone out this year.

Katie (Age:13)- I want to go to Disney this year.

Logan (Age:9)- My goal is to gain ten pounds this year.

Lauren (Age:8)- I want to buy all the Mini-Brands things that come out this year so I can have the entire collection.

Christopher (Age:11)- My goal for this year is to read one verse in the Bible every night before I go to bed.

Shawn (Age:14)- This year, my resolution is to get all “A’s” in all of my classes so I can get that four-wheeler at the end of the school year.

Abigail (Age:5)- I want to help my mommy out with the yard sale this summer.

Tiffany (Age:7)- My goal for this year is to become the best cheerleader so that I can be the one at point.

Brandon (Age: 13)- My New Year’s resolution is to do really good in all of my classes and read through the Bible. I also want to start taking boxing classes.

William (Age:16)- I want to pass my college classes with an “A,” and I want to try some new sports out.

Alicia (Age:6)- I want to make it on the Pride cheer team and go to nationals.