An Indispensable Tool

I can’t believe how indispensable this tool is. Recently, I was stitching 24 onesies, a daunting task even when it’s not crammed into a heavy travel, teaching schedule. I think the only thing that kept me sane during the process was thinking of the new parents of twins who would eventually receive the onesies.  I know they haven’t slept more than 2 hours at a time in over three weeks so my task paled in comparison.


Back to the embroidery – the placement for center chest embroidery on onesies was simplified with the Center Chest templates from the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Instead of using a round target sticker, I used the rectangular version and placed it lengthwise on the target area.  This gave me a clear visual guide when hooping the tiny garments.


I hooped Floriani Wet ‘n Gone Tacky  water soluble adhesive stabilizer in a 5” x 7” hoop for my single needle machine. Then I scored the protective paper and remove it to expose the sticky surface.  I placed the hoop under PAL2, aligning the beam with the hoop’s centering marks.


I turned the onesie inside out and lifted the back of the shirt away from the front to expose the target sticker. Then I carefully placed the center of the target sticker under the beam.


Once aligned, I smoothed the shirt to the sticky stabilizer, working above the target and then below.


When it comes to quilting, PAL2 can multitask. I use it to find the center of a block.


And to make sure my seams are square.


I’ve been know to use it to trim blocks and cut fabric strips – all without using a ruler!  I just align the beam with a line on the cutting mat, place the fabric edge on another straight line and then slice on the beam of light. Makes large cutting jobs fly by!

Do you want to win a PAL2? Leave a comment over at SewMamaSew and you’ll be entered in their Handmade Holiday giveaway.


The winner of last week’s assignment:

Have you stopped by the Embroider This! website lately? They have a selection of linens, blanks and baby items that are ideal for machine embroidery! Stop by their website and tell us what item you like best.

Post your comment and one lucky winner will be randomly selected to win a $100 shopping spree on the Embroider This! website! Embroider This is the name you can trust for Unique Gifts, Fine Linens, and Blanks for Machine Embroidery! Over 200 Free Designs for immediate download!

Embroider This!

The winner is… Lori W.! “I love all the hankies and the boxes to give them in are a wonderful gift. All the new guest towels in all the colorful bands would make a great gift and also would be fun to keep! I seem to give most everything I make away!”

Congratulations Lori and keep something for yourself this time!

Follow Us On Facebook

58 Comments on An Indispensable Tool

  1. Gail Beam
    November 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm (7 years ago)

    The PAL2 looks like a really neat tool to have for machine embroidery!

  2. Barbara
    November 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm (7 years ago)

    I love mine!

  3. Martie
    November 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm (7 years ago)

    This tool looks like the perfect thing to make my embroidery easier. Great invention!

  4. Sharon
    November 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm (7 years ago)

    My friend has a PAL, and loves it. I would love one too.

  5. Sharon
    November 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm (7 years ago)

    I left a comment over at SewMamaSew.

  6. Mary
    November 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Just what the doctor ordered 🙂

  7. Becky
    November 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm (7 years ago)

    I left the comment on SewMamaSew – It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Wait, do I hear a song. I’m dreaming of peace and good will for all. May all your days be merry and bright and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all.

  8. Barbara Rowlan Wong
    November 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I love my Pal and would love the addition of Pal2!
    Super idea and sure makes things easier.
    Happy Thanksgiving all

  9. Mary Haggenmaker
    November 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm (7 years ago)

    I can see where this would be a magnificent time saver.

  10. Diane Cockman
    November 6, 2012 at 5:28 am (7 years ago)

    Left my comment over on SewMamaSew. So many prizes and ideas. Thank you Eileen.

  11. Carol
    November 6, 2012 at 6:02 am (7 years ago)

    Love that you have discovered other uses for the PAL2! Recently moved and this would be a great addition to my new full basement sewing room!

  12. Jean
    November 6, 2012 at 6:13 am (7 years ago)

    The PAL2 would be a great addition to any sewing room….so many time saving uses!

  13. Marilyn Kirby
    November 6, 2012 at 6:22 am (7 years ago)

    How I dread trying to get items centered and straight. I would love a tool like this to help me out of my misery!

  14. Berenice
    November 6, 2012 at 7:08 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the link to SewMamaSew. That’s a site I will revisit. So much neat stuff!

  15. Dale Fedor
    November 6, 2012 at 7:29 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve registered at SewMamaSew & waiting for approval. Pal2 looks like it would really help me put my design on my shirts where I would like them. And since I am a new quilter, I REALLY need help making sure my blocks are straight.

  16. Ruby Ridgeway
    November 6, 2012 at 7:59 am (7 years ago)

    I got this pal several months ago. It doesn’t work for me. I can never get it to sit right.

  17. judy williamson
    November 6, 2012 at 8:15 am (7 years ago)

    I would love to have a Pal 2.

  18. Renee
    November 6, 2012 at 8:27 am (7 years ago)

    How were you able to keep the onesie from coming back on itself?

    • eileenroche
      November 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm (7 years ago)

      Oh…you’ll have to keep coming back for that information! In the January/February issue of Designs, I’m doing a feature on baby embroidery and I’ll show three ways to hoop a onesie.

  19. maria elena
    November 6, 2012 at 8:38 am (7 years ago)

    I would love to have one too, and my family would love me to have one too, so they can stop tilting their heads like I instructs them to in order to see designs perfectly straight!!

    • eileenroche
      November 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm (7 years ago)

      Too funny! That comment reminds me of a student I had many years ago, who mirror imaged the word, guest, on a towel. She said she didn’t care she just would just hang the towel opposite the mirror in the bathroom!

  20. Michelle Wagner
    November 6, 2012 at 9:08 am (7 years ago)

    I am sorry to post an unrelated post here. But I am in desperate need of assistance. I am trying to sew from the “Designer Handbags.” I am attempting the “Everyday Bag.” I am stuck on the corner peices. I have read, watched videos, everything, can any one please help me? Thanks so much!

    • eileenroche
      November 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm (7 years ago)

      How can I help you Michelle?

  21. Betsy
    November 6, 2012 at 9:11 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve been intrigued with the PAL2 and how it would improve my embroidery skills…and now it can square up my blocks? Ingenious!

  22. Genelle
    November 6, 2012 at 10:23 am (7 years ago)

    I love that the PAL 2 has multiple uses. As I embroidery and quilt I am always looking for various products that will aid me in my projects.

  23. Barb
    November 6, 2012 at 11:12 am (7 years ago)

    I have it, just haven’t used it yet. Sure will now I have onesies to do to!

  24. Rosalyn
    November 6, 2012 at 11:18 am (7 years ago)

    I have been trying to decide if a Pal or a Pal2 would be best for me. It’s on my Christmas wish list.

  25. Shirley R
    November 6, 2012 at 11:23 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you, Thank you!….. for giving us the name of the stabilizer you used for embroidering the Onesies!!! I could not wait to buy the original Pal, and Pal2 is on my Wish List. I think the Pal is the most valuable machine embroidery tool I own; I use it constantly.

    • eileenroche
      November 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm (7 years ago)

      Oh that’s so good to hear! I really don’t know how I hooped before PAL – such a time-saver.

  26. Nancy Borger
    November 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm (7 years ago)

    really, really really want the Pal-2 !! looks like an amazing tool.

  27. judit z
    November 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm (7 years ago)

    Dream list #1 Pal 2
    Friend is having twins girl and boy perfect idea
    to use tool on her onsies.

    left comment on sewmamasew

    • eileenroche
      November 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Judit – our January-February issue will feature adorable projects for twins! How timely for your and your friend!

  28. Kim C
    November 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm (7 years ago)

    I would love the Pal-2. It looks like it would be so helpful!

  29. KathyA
    November 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm (7 years ago)

    A Pal-2 just what my centering problem needs. Item one on the Christmas List.

  30. Jane Anderson
    November 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm (7 years ago)

    I didn’t think I wanted a Pal-2, but you have convinced me!

  31. Donna Schell
    November 7, 2012 at 7:41 am (7 years ago)

    I can’t wait to get a Pal 2 for Christmas. Although I could actually use it beforehand to help me make the gifts I am planning. Christmas may just have to come early for me!!

  32. Kathy
    November 7, 2012 at 9:19 am (7 years ago)

    I so need one of these! I cannot line things up, no matter what I do. This tool looks great.

  33. Debbie Bernard
    November 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm (7 years ago)

    I have one of these. Now I know how to use it!! Thanks

  34. Rhonda W
    November 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm (7 years ago)

    I love my PAL!!

  35. Patricia Lanter
    November 8, 2012 at 12:32 am (7 years ago)

    I am making my Christmas list.
    (1) Extra Large Snap Hoop
    (2) Pal2
    (3) Children’s Perfect Placement Kit
    (4) A Subscription Renewal for Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine.
    I have been a good girl Santa….

  36. e costello
    November 8, 2012 at 6:32 am (7 years ago)

    if you have a serger an easier way to do a onesie is to take out the side seam do your embroidery then serge it up again. that way it lies flat while you embroider.

  37. Jane
    November 8, 2012 at 11:46 am (7 years ago)

    Wow, so many people mentioning the PAL2 on SewMamaSew maybe Eileen could donate two over there or give one away here… it is a tough year here in Connecticut, with two hurricanes and one blizzard and our newest snowstorm yesterday. All in 12 months…

    My wish list – 1. PAL2
    2. Designer Handbags by Eileen and Nancy
    3. A new sewing/embroidery machine with large hoops… Santa, I’ve been good…most of the time…

  38. Cathy Van Daalwyk
    November 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm (7 years ago)

    Just got my pal2 and it seems the support base is awful wobbly it does not hold tight. Is there something missing? I think this is a great idea but shouldn’t the screw hold it to the base tighter?

    • eileenroche
      November 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Cathy – gee I haven’t seen any issues with the PAL2’s base. Do you have the post completely inserted into the clamp? Check that the bottom of the post is past the screw. You’ll have to unscrew the screw until it is almost completely out of the clamp. Then insert the post, and turn the screw so that it firmly holds onto the post.

      • Cathy Van Daalwyk
        November 21, 2012 at 7:39 am (7 years ago)

        Eileen, just before you reply ed to my comment I made contact with your customer service and the nice lady sent me a new clamp. PROBLEM FIXED! I AM NOW LOVING MY PAL 2. Thank you!

        • Cathy Van Daalwyk
          November 21, 2012 at 7:41 am (7 years ago)

          I should tell you the hole that you insert the lamp into is smaller on the new base and the screw is about three times bigger then the original one sent.

  39. Wendy
    November 9, 2012 at 7:23 am (7 years ago)

    Great tutorial – helped me to feel more confident in trying to do successful embroidery on a onesie. Looks like a Pal should be on my wishlist! I have the perfect placement set but confess I have not used it yet. I really need to get practice as my first grand baby is due next week!

  40. Pam
    November 9, 2012 at 11:28 am (7 years ago)

    Friends are great but a Pal2 could be very helpful indeed!

  41. susan
    November 9, 2012 at 11:36 am (7 years ago)

    oh I could use a Pal2, finally a successful way to find just the right spot.

  42. MarciaW
    November 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the informative post! Now I’m off to SMS.

  43. Mary Gordon
    November 13, 2012 at 9:33 am (7 years ago)

    Were the replies taken from both sites? I left one at the other site about using to line up features on doll faces and the trims for their clothes, but I don’t see it here. Should I have left it at both places?

    Anyway there are some wonderful suggestions here and I think it is a very worthwhile tool.


  44. Chris Brewer
    November 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm (7 years ago)

    I would love a PAL, it loks like it makes life so much easier. is there anywhere in australia that stocks them, as postage from the US more than doubles the price

  45. jennifer
    November 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm (7 years ago)

    I left my reply. Hoping i came across this post early enough to win! so many generous gifts everyone is giving away!

  46. Benita
    December 31, 2012 at 3:05 am (7 years ago)

    I wanted to create you that very little observation just to thank you so much again relating to the stunning solutions you’ve shared on this page. This has been simply seriously generous of people like you to present unhampered precisely what numerous people could have offered for sale for an e book in making some dough on their own, most importantly seeing that you could have tried it in the event you desired. The concepts in addition worked as the easy way to be sure that some people have the identical keenness just as mine to see good deal more related to this issue. I am certain there are some more pleasant sessions in the future for people who find out your website.

  47. Cordie
    February 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm (7 years ago)

    Pal2. what a wonderful tool. going to be a GreatGrandma # 3 in august and have a lot of work ahead of me and the Pal2 would make everything go a lot faster and easier. Love the web site with all of the great ideas.

  48. small seo tools
    May 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm (5 years ago)

    What’s uƿ, ƴеs this paragraph іs in fɑct pleasant
    and I hɑѵe learned lot օf tɦings from it on tɦe topic οf blogging.

  49. Cindy
    August 20, 2015 at 6:34 am (5 years ago)

    This is a first for me. Still quite the newbie, but I can see how thos might be a wonderful tool to use. Thank you for teaching me new ways to make sewing easier to work fun.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *