Susie does the same thing. She's pretty good in her own living space in the kitchen and goes to the designated potty area. But if I let her out, she does have accidents. She seems to like doing her #2 on a small rug and her #1 at the kitchen entrance. The three times this happened, I wasn't there to catch her so it's no use reprimanding her since she wouldn't realise what she's done wrong.
Most of the time though, I'll frequently take her to her potty area and just wait for her to go. One of the tell-tale signs is diligently sniffing the floor and circling. When I notice her doing that, I'll just lead her to her potty area whether she wants to eliminate or not. You have to be rather persistent in paper-training because some dogs may take a longer time to get the hang of it.
If you aren't around to watch her most of the time, it's best to crate train her. I have sectioned off a part of the kitchen as her 'den'. She has a wire crate (solid bottom) with her blankies, toys, water bottle and food bowl (both attached to the side of the crate and off the floor). And in another corner, she has her newspapers and wee pads as her potty place.
One of the best websites for advise on maltese is MalteseOnly. Just click on Forum Archives and type into the search column. Hope this helps and good luck!
I had the same problem for a while. She learned to pee on her pads first but would always walk off to poop. I just reprimanded her everytime she did this. I'd grab her & take her to the spot she pooped at and say "no- bad" then I'd take her back to the pad & say "good girl"... now she poops & pees on the pad