With a few exceptions, the picture below is basically where parts will be located on your sewing machine. The best way (and probably the most boring) to learn about your particular machine is to read the manual! You'll be surprised how many different things you can do!
If you do not yet have a sewing machine and would like me to do the research for you....my suggestion would be to purchase the Brother 25-Stitch sewing machine as pictured below. Amazon's price is about $5.00 cheaper than Costco's price on the same machine. This sewing machine is going to be the best "bang for your buck" as a beginner sewer, and is reasonably priced if you ask me! If you have any other sewing machine questions feel free to ask and I'll try to answer it in a separate post!