The age old question, "To match or not to match" is always asked!
When I'm feeling whimsical, light- hearted even I tend to get out all the pieces and mix and match, using a chosen color palette to unify and make the tablescape work together. I think that's the key to making it work, zeroing in on a particular color.
When the mood is a celebration or has a theme, I love to pull out all the stops and lay a balanced table setting of one pattern. I use flowers and napkins to add interest, or give the eye a place to rest. I also make use of the "rule of 3" more when the focus is placed on one china pattern.
Do you have thoughts on this age old dilemma? Of course, I'll keep hunting the tag sales and collecting while I wait for your comments!