so, as promised, i will attempt to share a bit about how i do things.  in this case, it is a way to make needle turning easier when you are doing either a circle or an edge that is a long smooth curve.  you can use it even while you are actually needle turning (as opposed to preturning like i’m showing here).  you would still use a pin as your turning tool (you can use your needle, but then you must still pick up a pin to secure what you have turned.  easier to just use a pin in the first place).  you can pin as far ahead of where you are as you want.  once you check out the pics below, this might make more sense. ^_^

STEP 1:  secure the ring in place – pinning it exactly where it belongs.  do that by having a circle drawn on the background – to which you line up the inner circle on the ring.  i have pinned at each centerline  and then once in the middle of each resulting quarter circle.  the pins are perpendicular to the edge you are sewing.

tip1.jpgi tried to lighted this enough that you can see the pins.  they are the silk pins that i use all the time – not those silly short things you can’t get ahold of. ^_^  they are also skinnier and slicker – thus easier to use and less ‘invasive’ (smaller hole).

STEP 2:  here i have added the equivalent of my ‘traveling pin’ that i use when doing needle turn.  that is, in addition to any pins i have used to position and hold the piece in its proper place, i also keep one pin right where i am sewing and parallel to the edge i am turning under.  as the act of turning the seam allowance under does require lifting the piece up and then kind of pushing on it as you tuck the seam allowance under – i find i disturb the placement less if i am only disturbing between the edge and that parallel pin (which just has to be far enough away from the turn line to allow for the seam allowance).  in this case i have used the pins with the colored heads so you can see them better. 

tip2.jpgthere is something else of note here – and that is the direction in which the parallel pins are going!  they are going in the same direction in which i sew – that way, as i use my left thumb to smooth, i don’t impale it on one of those pins!  even when i am pinning down an ‘odd’ shaped piece, my pins run parallel to the edges as possible and in this direction.

STEP 3:  this is the final step before actually sewing.  because this is an inside curve, i did have to clip before i could turn.  for this 6″ circle, my clips are about a healthy 1/4 inch apart.  and you clip right to your turn line.  i have turned and pinned with the pin perpendicular to the edge and holding under what i turned.  there’s probably a pin every 1/2 inch or so.  you could remove the parallel pins if you want – i don’t as i think they help hold things in place until stitched, as you will remove the perpendicular pins as you go – as you get to each one.

tip3.jpgand there you have it.  it is still “needle turned”, or perhaps “pin turned”. ^_^  not turned prior to placing onto the background and not pressed!!  so still the same soft edge.  for a project like this, where you can’t get to the piece easily, it seemed to save some time and effort to do the turning this way – on a flat surface, with both hands fully available. still – DO NOT USE YOUR FINGERS TO DO THE TURNING.  use only your left thumb to help hold the seam allowance under once you have turned it with the pin.  you can do it!!  ^_^

love and beauty