If I understand it in the right way you may:
1) Make the raster image with as many repetitions as you need, and place it wherever;
2) Create the (centre) path it is to follow with stroke/no fill, and increase the stroke weight to the height of the image 1);
3) Select 1) and 2) and Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object.
You are welcome, dmtetard, and nice solution.