This is how I would do it using Adobe Illustrator.
- Step 1: Create the art for the pattern tile.
- Step 2: Select the whole tile. Open the Brush window and click on the right top corner to display the options. Select "New Brush". A new window appears. Select "Pattern Brush" and click "OK".
- Step 3: The "Pattern Brush Options" window appears. Leave the default options as they are and click "OK".
- Step 4: A new brush has been added to the "Brush" window. At this point you can delete the art for the tile, since it is already stored as the brush. To use the brush, draw a path and, with the path selected, click on the new Brush to apply it to your path.
P.S. Even after applying the pattern brush, you can still use the stroke attributes such as "stroke width" and "profile" to control the look of the stroke. The final result will depend on the tile art and how curvy your path is. If you are not getting the result you wanted then you can try playing with the brush options as well. To do this, double click on your brush on the Brush window to open the "Pattern Brush Options" window again.