Warashina was born in Japan and was the youngest of three children, but she was raised in Spokane, Washington where her father was a dentist. When she was 10 years old, her father passed away so her mother raised the children alone. She did not even consider studying art until she moved to Seattle for college. With the intention of majoring in a science field at UW, she enrolled in a drawing class as an elective course. Warashina's first husband was fellow ceramics student Fred Bauer, and from 1964 to 1970 she exhibited as Patti Bauer in Funk art exhibitions. In 1976, she married Robert Sperry. During the 1970s and 1980s, Warashina, Sperry, and Howard Kottler ran the ceramics program at the University of Washington's School of Art, growing it into one of the best-known programs in the United States.