In searching for a resolution of the problem of how to incorporate my original traditional quilt blocks into my whole cloth image, I toyed with two other ideas: first, I thought of placing the original block behind its photographic counterpart and having that visible through an inserted piece of organza, placed where I would cut away the top image (and a reader suggested this as well!). Again, I couldn't bring myself to destroy that whole cloth.
Then I thought about attaching the traditional blocks at the outer left and right edge, leaving them hanging, as if cut to reveal the whole cloth image below. Eew. That was ugly.
I took my digital print to the best quilt shop in the world, Quilters' Studio. The store is 25 miles away, in Newbury Park, so I limit my trips to when I absolutely need cloth or supplies, or need to solve problems, but the 50 mile round trip is always worth it. (Note: they also sell over the internet!!).
The answer was so simple. Trudy Smith, who teaches at the Studio, immediately solved the conundrum: sew the traditional blocks together and make that the reverse side of the quilt -- literally, "beneath the surface" of the quilt top! Duh! The perfect solution!
The photo above shows the finished backing, with Sanjagirl looking on in her RCA-Victor-dogesque pose, to show the relative size of the piece. Here it is sans Sanjagirl:
Now to some technical questions...