I took a on-line class taught by Nancy Chong at Quilt University, she recommends the 1/2 spacing for the echo quilting or using the width of your pinky finger. I am still working on my project and really enjoyed the class and have already bought more material. Nancy has a website with her sister Janice called Pacific Rim Quilt Company that has great patterns, fabric and instructional dvds. On my applique of the bread fruit I quilted a circular pattern in the middle and then leaf ribbing on the leaves. Yours is beautiful.