Turtle on a Quilt
Attributed to Olive “Ollie” Inabinet Bolyston (1876-1944)
Aiken County, SC
McKissick Museum Collection 2013.11.91
Cooter, or turtle, pattern with pieced blocks with black-embroidered eyes on each head. Black, pink, or red buttonhole stitching around the edge of each head and tail. Quilter incorporated turquoise lattice strips and a single border with floral print backing and binding back folded over to the front. Cotton batting with quilting executed in parallel lines. This pattern was first published in 1943 in the Kansas City Star as “Turtle on a Quilt” and later as “The Terrapin,” and was traditionally made for newlyweds. Olive Boylston is the sister-in-law of Nancy Boylston, another quilter featured in this exhibition.
Saucers of Snowball Variation
Margaret Eleanor Pridgen Salley (1880-1961)
Olive Inabinet Boylston (1876-1944) 2013.11.91 and 2013.11.95
Olive “Ollie” Inabinet was born in Aiken County, just outside of Salley, SC. One of eight children, she was the daughter of Lewis and Henrietta “Nettie” Inabinet. A farming family, the Inabinets owned a substantial amount of land. When her father passed away in 1926, The State newspaper noted in his obituary, “Possessing ample property, he was in a position to devote much of his time to the uplift of this community.”
Ollie married Samuel Joseph Boylston in 1892 and they managed an extensive farm in Springfield, SC. They had seven children: Wyatt, Raymond, Ruby, Lillie, Octavie, Donovan, and Elise.
Samuel and his older brother Morgan were pioneering hog breeders. They shipped hogs as far as Richmond, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. The extended Boylston family owned and farmed land throughout Orangeburg and Aiken counties. Newspaper accounts indicate they had at least one hundred tenants working their land. Ollie died suddenly at home in 1944 and Samuel passed away the next year. They are buried in the Boylston family plot in Springfield Cemetery in Springfield, SC.