This sent me scurrying all over the net to see what was out there on the traditional handcraft of Chinese knotting . I knew that lovers had used knots to symbolise their commitment to each other and that knotting had a long history dating back thousands of years.
I did manage to find the significance of the dragonfly knot in this listing of meanings associated with classic knot designs . On this site take a look at the snail and the butterfly. They would make wonderful motifs for any crazy quilt!
As I discovered when I attempted this little dragonfly Chinese knots are actually woven from a single thread
Tutorials for these basic knots are pretty thin but I did find some. This tutorial illustrates what looks like another version of the dragonfly and a little person. Most of the tutorials give directions but this article shows how the knots are worked over the hand. (Scroll down the page)
As you can see most of the tutorials work with gimp but I wanted to create smaller knots and I was having trouble I found as I was using finer cord that I was having trouble holding the knot. Dexterity has never been a problem for me but the smaller I attempted tomake the dragonfly the more of a pickle I got into. Once I realised these knots were woven I pinned the thread to a polystyrene tray, and following these diagrams for the Dragonfly knot off I went.
I experimented with various threads and various sizes and am gradually building the skill to make them quite small. The thread is a fine cord. As you can see I am still mastering the tension and the body seems to twist but a few stitches will hold it in place and I plan to fill the wings with seed beads when I attach it to a crazy quilt block. I probably have the craft of hand tying these totally cacky handed but for my purposes ie. creating motifs that can be used on crazy quilt blocks it works.
I took a photograph with an American dime (is that 10c?) and an Australian 5c piece in order to give people a sense of scale.