Fox and Rabbit Designs – Botany Bay Sampler

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This Scottish Sampler was stitched by Margret Begbie, a 10 year old girl from Scotland. The Australian Colony established in 1788 stopped being referred to as Botany Bay around 1830, so this sampler most likely dates from the late 1700’s to early 1800’s.

The sampler was probably inspired by her geography lessons and based off a painting or illustration. There are some other Scottish Samplers with similar Botany Bay references, one was reproduced by The Essamplaire originally stitched by Euphemia Doieg, which is dated 1814. It is likely that they were in the same class.

A “Margaret Begbie” was sentenced to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) for 7 years by Edinburgh Court of Justiciary and arrived on the ship, Lloyds on 7th November 1845 with 169 other female convicts. So, there is a chance that this was the same Margret and she eventually saw Botany Bay.

The original sampler was stitched on a woollen even weave fabric with cotton threads and is approximately 340mm wide by 395mm high. Some liberties were taken in reproducing this sampler as a number of the stitches in the original sampler were stitched across 1 thread and down 2 threads.


Model: The model was stitch on 36 Count Legacy Linen from Picture This Plus using one strand of overdyed thread over two threads.

With 7cm (3”) framing allowance the linen is 55cm x 60cm (22” x 24”)

Model Stitched By: Marg McCaughey

Threads Used (with suggested DMC and Au Ver A Soie Soie D’Alger Alternatives)

  • Classic Colorworks CCT-14 Gingersnap (DMC 422 or AVAS 3822)
  • Classic Colorworks CCT-219 Hazelnut (DMC 3045 or AVAS 3823)
  • Classic Colorworks CCT-224 Eggshell (DMC Ecru or AVAS Creme)
  • The Gentle Art Sampler Threads 0250 Cornflower (DMC 799 or AVAS 4922)
  • The Gentle Art Sampler Threads 0550 Burnt Orange (DMC 720 or AVAS 634)
  • The Gentle Art Sampler Threads 7032 Aged Pewter (DMC 169 or AVAS 3224)
  • The Gentle Art Sampler Threads 7098 Black Licorice (DMC 310 or AVAS Noir)
  • The Gentle Art Sampler Threads 7041 Apple Cider (DMC 869 or AVAS 526)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1091 Whitewash (DMC Blanc or AVAS Blanc)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1107 Cattail (DMC 3072 or AVAS 111)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1108 Honeysuckle (DMC 3855 AVAS 2611)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1139 Chablis (DMC 3689 or AVAS 3011)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1223 Schneckley (DMC 781 or AVAS 2516)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1240 Dirt Road (DMC 612 or AVAS 3833)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1269 Chestnut (DMC 938 or AVAS 4124)
  • Weeks Dye Works 1307 Americana (DMC 824 or AVAS 1446)
  • Weeks Dye Works 2197 Oscar (DMC 3011 or AVAS 3724)
  • Weeks Dye Works 2254 Cinnabar (DMC 3773 or AVAS 921)
  • Weeks Dye Works 2259 Cayenne (DMC 816 or AVAS 945)
  • Weeks Dye Works 2339 Blue Bonnet (DMC 798 or AVAS 4923)